After an environmental lawsuit was won by the state of North Carolina, the settlement funds were distributed to many projects across the region. WNC Communities became stewards for a portion of the funds, which led to the funding of two forestry projects: a visitor center in the Dupont State Forest, and the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, a program managed by WNC Communities’ Forestry Education, LLC.
Hemlock Restoration Initiative gives a treatment demonstration at the Big Ivy Community Center.
“When the state of NC won a lawsuit for environmental damage due to coal fired power plants, the NC General Assembly needed a Dept to both develop an equitable plan of uses for the money as well as develop a plan to distribute fairly the funds for Western NC needs. The NC General Assembly chose the NC Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS). NCDA&CS went to their long time non profit partner WNCC and together they made a plan that benefited agriculture and forestry interests in WNC. It worked well, was timely, efficient, and every penny accounted for. The trust in this long time partnership can not be overstated.”
-Bill Yarborough, Special Assistant to Commissioner Steve Troxler, retired.