Upstate Forever's Strategic Goals

Upstate Forever is working tirelessly to advocate for policies and plans that support smart, balanced growth. Our strategic goals for 2018-2022 envision a future that’s healthy, vibrant, and prosperous. We need you to help us protect the critical lands, waters, and unique character of the Upstate of South Carolina.

1. Protect land and water

We must reduce sprawl, preserve green space, and safeguard our water supply.

  • Identify and permanently protect an additional 15,000 acres of the lands related to water quality and high quality habitat for plants and animals, resulting in the start of a system of greenbelts.
  • Reduce land consumption rates in 10 local municipalities by enacting plans and policies that support alternatives to sprawling development.
  • Serve as a resource to expand access to recreational opportunities, such as greenways for hiking and biking, open space for hunting and birding, and blueways for fishing and paddling.
  • Maintain water quality of streams, rivers and lakes (even as population pressure increases) and ensure river flows remain as healthy as they are today as an unprecedented number of individual and industry users compete for our valuable water resources.

2. Foster a love of place

Our area is special — Let’s keep it that way.

  • Instill community pride and ownership of the Upstate’s lands and waters by engaging local citizens in the protection of the areas that define our natural heritage: the Upstate’s Conservation Keystone areas.
  • Grow our member base to more than 5,000 by expanding public awareness and understanding of the importance of balanced growth and the protection of our natural heritage.
  • Foster new collaborations with community leaders, local governments and other organizations.

3. Convey the importance of now

The Upstate is at a tipping point.

  • Educate the public about the need to preserve the natural assets that make our region so special – farmlands, forests, rivers and recreational areas.
  • Raise awareness of the urgency and critical need to balance the rapid growth of the region with the protection of our natural resources before it is too late. Based on an analysis from 2017, if we continue on our current land use trajectory, by 2040 the size of the Upstate’s urban footprint will more than double. That means that an area (currently serving as wildlife habitat, open space, or farmland) larger than Spartanburg County will be consumed — primarily by low-density, single-use residential living.

4. Serve as a trusted community champion

We will advocate to defend your natural resources.

  • Act as a watchdog by improving or actively opposing large projects that threaten water quality, critical lands, community character, and quality of life.
  • Engage the public and expand their role in shaping future growth and protecting natural resources.
  • Encourage civic, business, and political leaders to prioritize planned and balanced growth.
  • Build and maintain a strong and capable staff with the resources to achieve the organization’s mission to protect critical lands, waters, and the unique character of Upstate South Carolina.

For more information about our strategic goals, contact Sally Boman, Communications Director, at sboman@upstateforever.org.

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