Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
We are thrilled to announce the protection of more than 600 acres on two privately owned properties in Union County. 

Friendfield Farm is 372 acres of prime farmland, timber, and hunting land. With more than a mile of land along the banks of Fairforest Creek, its protection will also play a significant role in safeguarding the creek’s water quality.
Sandy Run Forest is comprised of 237 acres of forests, farmland, and open fields. Located less than a mile from the Lower Pacolet River, this property is also critical to water quality, in addition to serving as important wildlife habitat.

Because of your  support , Upstate Forever protects  more than 24,000 acres  across the Upstate — and we have more conservation projects in the works. We hope to share more conservation successes with you soon!
Two opportunities to join our team
We are currently seeking a part-time Receptionist / Finance Assistant to join our Greenville office, as well as a part-time, mostly remote Executive Assistant . You can view the complete job descriptions for each position and find application details on our website at .
Food insecurity in the Upstate
As much as 16% of the Upstate's population struggles with a lack of consistent access to enough food to live an active, healthy life. Our Land Conservation team recently received a $10,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation to strengthen the local food systems in Upstate counties with the highest rate of food insecurity.
Welcome, Sam and Sydney!
Sam Erwin, Regional President – Carolinas for IBERIABANK, recently joined the UF Board. A Greenwood native & Clemson graduate, Sam is an avid hunter and fisherman. Sydney Andersen has joined our Land Conservation team as a summer fellow through Furman University's David E. Shi Center for Sustainability.
The Upstate can grow responsibly
Our Land Planning & Policy team works to demystify land-use planning to help citizens become informed advocates for growth in their communities. They've been breaking down 10 principles of smart growth on Upstate Forever's social media. Catch up by exploring #UFsmartgrowth on Facebook & stay tuned as we wrap up this series next week.
Two steps forward, one step back: National energy and conservation news
While the majority of our work is focused on protecting the critical lands, abundant waters, and unique character of the ten counties that comprise SC's Upstate, there's no denying that national energy and conservation policies impact us right here at home. From the passing of a landmark conservation bill to environmental policy rollbacks , here are a few recent national headlines — and how they impact you:

The Great American Outdoors Act passed through Congress
On Wednesday, July 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act. This bill is on its way to the President's desk to be signed. Once law, it will fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), providing billions of dollars in funding for parks, trails, and public lands and waters across the country each year.

Did you know the LWCF has funded projects in nearly every county in the country? In the Upstate, future funding can mean investing in residents' physical and mental health, boosting local economies through tourism and outdoor recreation, and creating a more resilient agricultural industry.

Thank you to all who reached out to their representatives to pass this important legislation — your voice made a difference! And our sincere thanks to our Upstate representatives who supported this bill: Senator Lindsey Graham (who co-sponsored the Act), Senator Tim Scott, and Representative Jeff Duncan. You can find contact info below to thank them for supporting this important legislation:

Senator Lindsey Graham
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5972

Senator Tim Scott
104 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-6121

Representative Jeff Duncan
2229 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5301

Victory for solar energy
Last month, we asked you to help us fight an attack on residential solar net metering at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Net metering compensates solar customers for any power provided back to the grid from their solar panels, and it is a foundational and long-standing policy for encouraging rooftop solar. We are pleased to report that we won!

Upstate Forever represented you and joined with the Southern Environmental Law Center and other Southeast organizations to file extensive comments (including many of your comments). FERC heard from over 50,000 individuals and 600 organizations, states, regulators, and elected officials, all supporting state control of net metering, and in turn issued a unanimous rejection of a petition filed by the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) that would have raised utility bills for solar customers here in South Carolina. You can read our comments and more about the case here, and find media coverage of the FERC rejection of the NERA petition here.

National Environmental Policy Act rollbacks
And finally, some disappointing news on the national front. Last week, President Trump announced rollbacks to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). For 50 years, NEPA has provided communities — often marginalized, poor, and minority neighborhoods — the opportunity to delay or stop potentially harmful projects like highways and pipelines.

In our region, a weakening of NEPA would effectively silence the Upstate voice on projects ranging from pipelines and federal road projects all the way up to how the nearby national forests Pisgah, Sumter, and Nantahala — where we hike, bike, fish and play — are managed. Those national forests also impact some of our drinking water sources.

We have joined 15 other conservation organizations represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center to challenge this decision. We'll keep you informed as this situation advances.
Sign up to receive the Water Log
Have you signed up for our newsletter dedicated to clean water news and issues? The next edition will land in inboxes soon with updates about national policy changes and a compilation of helpful resources to mitigate stormwater runoff & flooding. Sign up here
Listen: Public Concern Podcast
UF's Energy & State Policy Director Shelley Robbins co-hosts this week's episode of Public Concern, the podcast brought to you by the South Carolina Conservation Coalition. Together with Thad Culley of Vote Solar, Shelley discusses the importance and future of rooftop solar power in the Upstate. Listen here
Greenville Co. zoning updates
Following adoption of a widely supported comprehensive plan earlier this year, Greenville County has kicked off the process of drafting a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to replace current zoning and land development regulations. Here's what we know
What legacy will you leave?
By including Upstate Forever in your will, trust, or estate plans, you can help protect our region's high quality of life for future generations. If you would like to learn more about planned giving or to receive a copy of our free estate planning guide, contact Aldon Knight, Director of Development and Community Relations.
Do you know about our  other  mailing lists?

Thanks for signing up for the  Upstate Update , Upstate Forever's general email newsletter. We also offer email lists dedicated to specific topics like clean water and legislative issues. To sign up for one or all of the lists below,  please click here and select the list(s) you'd like to join .

Greenville County Comprehensive Plan Updates
Upstate Forever wants to help demystify and empower citizens to influence the Comprehensive Plan update process. Join this dedicated mailing list to receive updates and alerts for all Greenville-based comp plans.

Planning & Growth Updates for Spartanburg County
Spartanburg County is growing rapidly, with more than 60,000 new residents projected by 2040. Whether you live or work in Spartanburg County or just care deeply about its future, our Land Planning & Policy team will keep you informed and actively engaged in shaping Spartanburg's future growth.

Protect More Land
Land protection is the key to protecting what we love about the Upstate, but more funding is needed to protect our region's special places while we still have the opportunity. Get the latest updates on initiatives that support increased funding for conservation in the Upstate.

SC Legislative Updates
While the State Legislature is in session from January through May of each year, we dispatch a weekly Legislative Update recapping each week's important energy and conservation news. We also issue Action Alerts on critical, time-sensitive issues and provide the tools you need to contact your elected officials.

The Water Log
Water is our planet's most precious natural resource, and Upstate Forever is working to safeguard both the quantity and quality of water in our region. Our Clean Water team sends out a periodic newsletter dedicated to clean water issues and advocacy.
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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.
Click the icons below to learn more about our work
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 .