North Carolina’s diverse agriculture industry is the backbone of the state’s economy. By focusing on the protection of productive private farms and forest lands, Foothills Conservancy hopes to help ensure the stability of the industry. Unfortunately, over the past several years, North Carolina has led the nation in acres of farmland lost to development. This problem stems from development pressures and population growth, as well as from a declining emphasis on farming as a profession and lack of adequate economic incentives for farmers.

In collaboration with regional partners, we work to identify the most viable opportunities for protecting these lands through the use of conservation easements. By voluntarily protecting their land with easements, private landowners continue to own and work their land and may be eligible to claim special federal and state conservation tax benefits. State and federal programs also provide limited funds to purchase development rights on working farms and forests that will be conserved and managed sustainably.

Current Private Conservation Easements Held:

Conservation Easements:

Not Pictured:

Caldwell County Heartleaf Tract – 235 acres

Agricultural Conservation Easements:

Easements held by others but stewarded by Foothills Conservancy:

Donahue Creek (Caldwell County) – 180 acres
Jackson Knob Cove (McDowell County) – 102 acres