Watauga County, NC

$25,000 to sustain the SELC model growth project focused on Watauga County. Phase III

Clabough Foundation gave continuation funding to the Southern Environmental Law Center on the managing growth project, during which SELC used the maps and survey results to pursue critical policy goals and be a resource as we move to implement the ordinances that are best for Watauga County.

The conversations with the Watauga project led to increased level of engagement on growth issues in WNC. Discussions around the county highlighted the need for better regional planning, which prompted SELC to lobby for the creation of the Mountain Resources Commission, which is tasked with coordinating multiple, ongoing local efforts to conserve water quality, wildlife habitat, native forests, scenic beauty and other natural resources in the mountain counties, and on whose technical advisory Council SELC Senior attorney DJ Gerken serves.

$50,000 for Model for Managing Growth in Watauga County project. Phases I and II

The Clabough Foundation funded the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Managing Growth Project to address some of the most critical challenges facing the region: growth and development. SELC worked in a cross section of state and local laws and policies that address transportation, land use, natural resource protection, and numerous other issues. In the first year, projects included assessing and documenting the situation, including mapping the area, evaluating models in other counties, and identifying elements that could translate to Watauga County, then conveying the information to citizens and community leaders. In the second year we conducted a phone survey of 402 randomly selected Watauga County registered voters to learn about opinions on local development policies. We also focused on educating people about the policy options being considered for Watauga County and the on-the-ground implications for each.

Swain County, NC

$15,000 to fund the economic assessment of the North Shore Road.

The Clabough grant funded the economist’s study and analysis needed to illustrate that the costs and benefits of a cash settlement to Swain county outweighed the benefits of building the North Shore Road through the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

Great clip about DJ on the case: http://www.southernenvironment.org/uploads/words_docs/BRO_0907_DayintheLife.pdf