Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Conservation for the Wealthy

A new "vacation" development planned for North Carolina's Wilkes and Watauga counties is using conservation as a selling point in their bid to develop 6000 acres into a top dollar resort. The plan is to protect 1/3 of the property from development and to charge between $450,000 and 1.25 million for the remaining lots.

"Laurelmor will still have all the amenities of any high-dollar 21st-century resort: A massive, Biltmore Estate-inspired lodge, with spa, restaurants, clubhouse and an 18-hole Tom Kite-designed golf course, more than 400 condominiums and about 1,500 homesites, ranging in size from three-quarters of an acre on up. Ginn Co. also plans to buy the adjacent Leatherwood Mountains equestrian center."

This project should go a long way to help boost the economies of the counties involved. Wilkes county in particular has suffered some financial setbacks in the recent past. One of which being the relocation of Lowe's Companies, Inc's corporate offices to Iredell county.

I just wish marketers (of which I am a closet one) would stop trying to call the selling off of millions of dollars worth of land as conservation. If you really are concerned about conservation then buy the land and open a park for public use, not a gated community with a few extra trees.
(Link to the Winston Salem Journal Article)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand where you're coming from, however Ginn does plan to allow public access to areas of land within the conservation easement, including [but not limited to] giving them the opportunity to fish under a catch- and-release program and allowing ASU biology students access to observe and collect research data as part of their curiculum.

In addition, all of the research collected by various conservation groups like the NC Audubon, will be made available for public use.

It may not seem like much, but at the end of the day, we have to remember that it's all for the benefit of native wildlife and vegetation, and not necessarily humans.