Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
Overflow crowds at all three Duke rate case hearings
Upstate Forever has partnered with the Southern Environmental Law Center, the NAACP, and the Coastal Conservation League to intervene in Duke Energy's current rate cases.

Duke's proposed tripling of the base facilities charge - the fee you pay before you turn on a single switch - strongly discourages energy efficiency and solar and disproportionately harms the lowest users (usually the elderly and low income customers).

About 1,000 Upstate customers attended the three-night hearings held March 12, 13 and 14 in Spartanburg, Anderson and Greenville.

After these hearings, Duke agreed to drop the proposed base facilities charge of $28 down to $11.90. This is still a 44% increase from the current $8.29, and they continue to insist on their current revenue requirement and flawed methodology, so our parties will continue to participate in the Public Service Commission proceeding. A final order will be issued no later than May 8. You can livestream the ongoing PSC hearings here
Thanks to your support, Upstate Forever works at the state and local level to encourage clean renewable energy, energy storage, and energy efficiency in the most flexible and cost-effective manner possible.
Crossroads has launched!
Our sincere thanks to all who joined us last Tuesday as we celebrated the launch of Crossroads, our $7.5 million campaign to ensure that we grow intelligently while protecting the Upstate's natural character.
Thanks to your generosity, we are just $150,000 short of our goal! If you have not yet supported the Crossroads Campaign, please consider a contribution.
Clean Water Happy Hour
The EPA is proposing to rollback protections under the Clean Water Act that would affect over 4,300 miles of streams and 66,000 acres of wetlands in the Upstate. Join UF and the Southern Environmental Law Center from 6-8 pm at Birds Fly South this Wednesday, 3/27. We will provide materials to submit public comments to the EPA. Swing by, have a beer, and submit a comment!
Our Land Trust is hiring!
Upstate Forever’s accredited Land Trust is seeking a Land Protection Specialist to work with willing landowners and partners using a variety of conservation tools to permanently protect waterways, natural areas, farmland, and wildlife habitat. Applications will be received until April 10, 2019. Please share the job description with anyone who may be a good candidate!
Get wild at this film festival
Upstate Forever and Fujifilm Present the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on April 11 at the Sundance Gallery in Greenwood. The event will feature an exclusive screening of a collection of illuminating films, along with commentary from some of the region's environmental leaders. Tickets are just $5 and include drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Register for Rally in the Valley
Join us Saturday, May 19 for Rally in the Valley at Lake Jemiki! Featuring barbecue, music, and beer, this bicycle ride (30 or 60 miles) winds through scenic rural roads in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Proceeds benefit Oconee Forever. Read more
Upcoming volunteer work day
UF has a great volunteer opportunity coming up on April 6 at the beautiful Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area with Trout Unlimited. We will be removing Japanese honeysuckle and Chinese privet, and will also do some light trash pickup. Read more
Additional energy updates
Net metering applications extended
Duke has agreed to continue accepting net-metering applications in the Upstate pending the final resolution of the issue in H. 3659, the Energy Freedom Act. The program would have ceased on March 15 without this extension.

Solar bill stalls in Senate sub-committee
The landmark solar bill H. 3659, called the Energy Freedom Act, will get its fourth Senate sub-committee hearing on Thursday, March 28. The bill addresses next steps in South Carolina for a variety of solar issues, including residential rooftop net-metering, utility scale solar, establishes ratepayer protections, and improves utility planning. The bill passed the House unanimously 110-0 in February. Tell the Senate to get this bill moving

Rally for Energy Freedom
There will be a Rally for Energy Freedom on the State House steps at 1pm on Tuesday, April 2 in support of clean energy and the solar bill. Learn more and register here

Spring newsletter coming soon
The Upstate Advocate , Upstate Forever’s twice-yearly print publication sponsored by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, will hit mailboxes in mid April! If you'd like to be added to the mailing list, email Ava Thacker at
Follow @UpstateForever
Follow along on Instagram as we showcase the places and people that make the Upstate such a magnificent place to call home. Tag your photos with #MyUpstateForever for a chance to be featured.
More News & Events
Create a lasting legacy
When you make a planned gift to Upstate Forever, you help us achieve our goals for current and future generations while enjoying a wide variety of tax benefits. Visit our planned giving site to learn about bequests, IRA rollovers, charitable lead trusts, and other ways to give. Read more

Mark your calendars:

  • Greenville County Housing Forum: The Intersection of Transit, Housing, and Land Use: Tuesday, April 30, 2018, 8-11am at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville — stay tuned for more information

  • Upstate Forever's Annual Meeting : Sunday, October 13, 2019 at Lake Conestee Nature Park — stay tuned for more information

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Your tax-deductible gift to Upstate Forever will go directly toward protecting critical lands and saving special places in the Upstate.
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Upstate Forever is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects critical lands, waters, and the unique character of Upstate South Carolina.  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. Our vision is an environmentally healthy, economically prosperous Upstate that offers a high quality of life now and for future generations.

For more information, visit our website at or send us an email .