From the local paper (Foothills Conservancy making progress to permanently protect iconic Blowing Rock view):
Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina announced significant progress toward the purchase and permanent protection of a 332-acre parcel of land in Blowing Rock that contains the headwaters of the Johns River and is part of an iconic view seen from The Blowing Rock attraction, U.S. 321 and other locations within the town limits of Blowing Rock.
The property is positioned on the Blue Ridge escarpment, partially located in both the Blowing Rock and Globe communities of Caldwell County, and is part of the viewshed corridor of the immediate sweeping and magnificent mountainous panorama. The Johns River, a major tributary of the Catawba River, begins on the property, and the land harbors a number of significant natural communities and threatened plant and animal species documented by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program.
Leveraging its experience and national reputation for successfully protecting high-value conservation projects, Foothills Conservancy has raised over $3,200,000 for the permanent protection of this land. The Conservancy has received substantial grant funding for this project from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, the N.C. Department of Justice’s Ecosystem Enhancement Grant program, and a recently awarded $200,000 grant from the Glass Foundation. Thanks to this grant funding, and combined with considerable support from several private donors, Foothills Conservancy is now only $750,000 shy of reaching its overall fundraising goal of $4 million.
We teach that voluntary contributions will come up short when allocating goods that you can’t exclude anyone from consuming it and anyone’s consumption doesn’t negatively affect another’s consumption. Free market environmentalists point to the work of conservancies as a counter example. So, two things:
The “Blowing Rock” view is excludable, it costs me $9 to see that particular view and I’ve never been even though it is only 20 minutes away (there are good substitutes).
The Foothills Conservancy does great work in the private sector but, like many conservancies, they are getting help from the government.
You can make a contribution to this public good at the Foothills Conservancy webpage: https://www.foothillsconservancy.org.
Note: Photo courtesy of Foothills Conservancy via the Watauga Democrat.
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