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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Conservation Movement

by Charles E. Roe and Karl Rohr, 2006
Additional research provided by Dennis F. Daniels, Joan E. Freeman, Raymond L. Murray, and Nancy P. Shires.

Part 1: Introduction

North Carolina's cities and towns, natural areas, and public lands have benefited greatly from conservation initiatives starting as early as the eighteenth century, but efforts to control pollution and save natural areas remain controversial as the state faces serious environmental issues and intense competition for available land. Despite the progress made during the last quarter of the twentieth century, several factors-such as urban growth, a proliferation of new highways, extensive development of resorts and vacation homes in the Coastal Plain and Mountain regions, the advent of large-scale industrial livestock operations, the clearance of natural forest habitats for huge pine plantations, mounting soil erosion, and polluted water flowing into streams and estuaries-continue to threaten North Carolina's rural landscapes, natural habitats, and environmental resources.

Keep reading > Part 2: Initial Water Conservation, Forestry Regulation, and Antipollution Policies Keep reading


Richard A. Bartlett, Troubled Waters: Champion International and the Pigeon River Controversy (1995).

Thomas Clark, The Greening of the South: The Recovery of Land and Forest (rev. ed., 2004).

Albert Cowdrey, This Land, This South: An Environmental History (1983).

David H. Howells, Quest for Clean Streams: An Historical Account of Stream Pollution Control in North Carolina (1990).

Raymond L. Murray, Understanding Radioactive Waste (1994).

Neil R. Sampson, For Love of the Land: A History of the National Association of Conservation Districts (1985).

Thomas Schoenbaum, The New River Controversy (1979).