USF Upstate Advocate 2012 Newsletter : Page 2

 Message from the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Doing the Right Thing When Upstate Forever was asked to participate in the South Saluda River trout enhancement project (see pages 4-5 ), we immediately and enthusiastically said yes. We were aware and appreciative of the suc-cess of similar projects on the Middle Saluda River, the Eastatoee River, and Little River in our region. Trout habitat in the South Carolina mountains has suffered staggering losses. In our view, we can never do enough to restore some of it. When I first heard that some landowners along the South Saluda were opposed to the project, I assumed it was because they didn’t understand it. Once it was explained to them, surely they would be on board. But it soon became clear that the opponents knew exactly what the project was about and they didn’t want it because they knew what the results would be – better habitat for trout and more people enjoying and fishing the river. They considered the South Saluda as “their river, their backyard,” and they didn’t want to share it with anyone. But this is a river “This is a river that belongs to all of us. They launched a campaign of vicious and that belongs to outrageous attacks against the project and its all of us.” sponsors. I don’t have enough space here to list them all, but these will give you a good idea of the false claims they were making: 335 truck-loads of rock would be dumped in the river, private property would be taken over, and drivers along Highway 11 would drown as the result of more frequent flooding of the river. They appealed DHEC’s permit for the project and after a two-day trial, the South Carolina Administrative Law Court rejected the appeal and upheld the per-mit, concluding that all of their claims had no merit. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the entire campaign is that they convinced a state legislator to introduce a resolution declaring a moratorium on trout enhancement projects in South Carolina. Fortunately, the resolution went nowhere in the General Assembly. It never crossed my mind that this project would consume so much of Upstate Forever’s time, energy and funding. But I’m proud that we persevered, stood with our partners and ultimately prevailed. Take a look at the photos of the completed project on pages 4 and 5 : The results speak for themselves. Sometimes doing the right thing isn’t easy. But it’s always important. Brad Wyche A nonprofit, membership-based organization promoting sensible growth and protecting special places in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Laura Garrett Bain, Conservation Stewardship Specialist Sherry Barrett, Sustainable Communities Program Associate Sam Danner, Membership and Special Events Director Nancy Fitzer, Education Director Lisa Hallo, Director of Sustainable Communities Program Erika Hollis, Urban Rivers Project Associate Erin Jordan Knight, Director of Land Trust Program Dana Leavitt, Land Trust Special Projects Director Heather Bergerud Nix, Director of Clean Air and Water Program Peg O’Donoghue, Financial Director Shelley Robbins, Sustainable Communities and Clean Air Associate Chris Starker , Rural Waters Project Associate Angela Viney, Director of Development and Director of Gretchen Wilson , Office Manager Ed Winkler, Assistant Financial Director Brad Wyche, Executive Director Paul Agnew Tom Brown Dick Carr, Vice Chair Allen Creighton Dianne Culbertson Marianna Black Habisreutinger Brice Hipp, Secretary Wes Hulsey Joe James Tom Kester, Treasurer Bob Becker Juan Brown Dan Burden Bernie Dunlap Vince Graham Russell Harris Max Heller George Dean Johnson, Jr. John Knott Spartanburg Office STAFF BOARD OF DIRECTORS Drew Lanham Joe Lesesne Erwin Maddrey Marshall Meadors Scott Montgomery Leon Patterson, Chair Susan Riordan Mark Taylor Kris Yon ADVISORY COUNCIL John Lane Patrick McMillan Mike Nicklas Sue Priester David Shi Gus Speth Bill Workman Neal Workman 507 Pettigru Street, Greenville, SC 29601 Phone: (864) 250-0500 E-mail: Contact Information for Main Office Contact Information for Spartanburg Office 100 E. Main Street, R-4, Spartanburg, SC 29306 Phone: (864) 327-0090 E-mail: Website Cover: A stretch of the South Saluda River now restored as trout habitat (see pp. 4-5). Photo by Kevin Kubach

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