Protecting Our Unique Character

About Upstate Forever

Mission: Upstate Forever is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects critical lands, waters, and the unique character of Upstate South Carolina. 

Vision: An environmentally healthy, economically prosperous Upstate that offers a high quality of life now and for future generations.

Over the past two decades, we have worked to protect the natural assets that make the Upstate so special — our farmlands, forests, natural areas, rivers, and clean air. We are committed to ensuring that our communities are vibrant and retain their green spaces, outdoor heritage, and unique identities in the face of rapid development and significant sprawl.

Upstate Forever works with landowners, communities, and local stakeholders to balance growth with the protection of our natural resources. We focus our work on the ten counties of Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union.

History and successes

Founded in 1998 by Greenville attorney Brad Wyche, Upstate Forever now has offices in Greenville and Spartanburg and a staff of 25. We've spent the past 25 years forging relationships with business leaders and municipalities. Our reputation for common-sense solutions has earned us wide-spread respect across the Upstate region and beyond.

Upstate Forever's track record of success includes:

  • Playing a key role in securing and opening of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which has revolutionized Greenville and Travelers Rest
  • Preventing a coal ash landfill in Pickens County and a mega-landfill in Spartanburg County
  • Mobilizing public opposition to stop Duke Energy’s proposed substation and transmission line across the Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Protecting nearly 28,000 acres on 140 properties across the Upstate through voluntary land easement as the first nationally accredited land trust organization in South Carolina

More success stories

Message from the Founder

Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

Financial Reports

 
Photo: Ed Land

What’s Happening

For

For future generations

We are working to secure $7 million to safeguard Upstate SC's natural resources as the region experiences significant growth and development. With your support, we can leave our children, grandchildren, and future generations a great Upstate legacy.

Conservation

Conservation success

Upstate Forever worked with landowners, funders, and partners to facilitate permanent conservation easements on nearly 800 acres of forests, farms, and green space last year in Upstate South Carolina.

Session

Session Recap

Revisit the conservation legislation signed, unfinished bills we hope to revisit in 2025, and what to expect in the months to come in our 2024 Legislative Session Wrap-Up from State Policy Director Megan Chase-Muller.

The

The Upstate Advocate

The newest edition of our biannual print publication explores the ecosystems persisting within the urbanized landscape, in addition to sharing the latest news and updates from our team.

25

25 Highlights from 25 Years

Upstate Forever celebrated 25 years of conservation and advocacy in 2023. Join us in reflecting on just a few of the successes your support has made possible — and help us continue this work for future generations.

Diversity,

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

To realize our vision of a future that is healthy, vibrant, and prosperous for the Upstate, we know it is vitally important and essential to our core values that we engage the diverse community we serve.

IT’S NOW OR NEVER

Preserve our region’s character

Growth in the Upstate is skyrocketing. We must act immediately to protect our region’s natural resources and unique character from unchecked sprawl and short-sighted development practices. Join our mailing list to receive news, updates, and action alerts.

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