EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation celebrates the South Carolina Conservation Bank reauthorization with the passage of H. 4727 by the South Carolina General Assembly. The new legislation also eliminates the need for reauthorization in future years, as it makes the Bank a permanent state agency.
“The Conservation Bank is a powerful tool in protecting South Carolina's natural resources,” said Becky Humphries, NWTF CEO. “The mission of the Conservation Bank meshes perfectly with the NWTF's Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, by protecting wildlife habitat and creating many new recreational opportunities, especially hunting. The NWTF supported the reauthorization of the Conservation Bank, which is a model in land protection envied by other states."
The Conservation Bank was created more than 15 years ago through legislation introduced by Sen. George E. “Chip” Campsen, R-Charleston.
“When I authored the original Conservation Bank Act in 2002, my goal was to protect our unsurpassed quality of life in a manner that is respectful of property rights,” Campsen said. “Through its pricing mechanism, the Conservation Bank has protected 300,000 acres at just $500 per acre. It accomplishes conservation through negotiation and compensation, not regulation. I am pleased the Conservation Bank Reauthorization Act ensures this innovative approach to conservation will continue. It implements common sense reforms while making the Bank a permanent agency of state government. Its continued work will protect South Carolina’s pristine natural resources for generations to come.”
Since the bill’s inception, the Conservation Bank’s grant process has funded the protection of some of South Carolina’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Angel Oak in Charleston County, Four Hole Swamp in Orangeburg County and Hamilton Ridge Wildlife Management Area in Hampton County.
“This is a great day for conservation in South Carolina,” said Doug Harper, the Conservation Bank’s board chair. “It’s a new day for the Bank and a big step toward protecting our state’s natural legacy and beautiful places.”
Sen. Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington, added, “The Conservation Bank has a demonstrated record of not only utilizing, but also leveraging state dollars to protect over 250,000 acres of South Carolina’s unique natural resources. I am so pleased that the Senate and House were able to work together to make the Bank even stronger, ensuring the continued, lasting preservation of South Carolina’s special places.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.
For more information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698