Citizens ask Congress for millions more for environmental projects


First Posted: 2/28/2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. Conserving and responsibly developing North Carolinas natural resources is good for the economy and good for the environment.
That is the message two members of Pilot View Resource Conservation & Development Inc. took to Washington, D.C., earlier this month when they met with elected state officials on Capitol Hill.
Al Engler, chairman of group, and board member Earl Sheppard, mayor of Pilot Mountain, recently attended the National Leadership Conference for the National Association of Resource Conservation & Development Councils.
We visited the offices of Sen. Richard Burr, Rep. Virginia Foxx, and Rep. Bob Etheridge, said Engler. We emphasized that RC&Ds around the country are non-profit groups operated by volunteer boards, whose good works create jobs and provide an effective delivery system for immediately putting to work money from the economic stimulus package.
RC&D groups such as Pilot View do a great job of leveraging the money they receive, Sheppard added. Pilot View does better than most. For every dollar we receive from Congress through the National Resource and Conservation Service, Pilot View multiplies that 21 times through money secured through grants for our community projects right here in the Piedmont.
Pilot View partners with community sponsors seeking funding to improve a communitys quality of life through projects such as watershed protection, stream restoration and development of recreational parks.
Part of the mission of the National Leadership Conference is to have representatives from each of the 375 RC&D organizations around the country meet with their senators and members of Congress. This year participants emphasized to members of Congress the need for increased funding from $51 million to $64 million. This would support the expanding base of RC&D groups around the country including 18 new RC&Ds this year. Reflecting a strong interest in RC&D work within the state, two of the new groups are forming in North Carolina.
Pilot View Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization established in 1991 to work with communities throughout six counties Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin to support local efforts to conserve and responsibly develop natural resources. The Council includes representatives from each of the counties. Information about Pilot View RC&D is available at www.pilotviewrcdnet.org or through its offices at 2714 Henning Drive, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27106.

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