Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth

Introducing the "Rural Preservation Series"

Between 2001-2016, 11 million acres of agricultural land were lost in America. Unfortunately, South Carolina is not spared from this trend — 280,700 acres of agricultural land were lost in SC during the same period.

In the first post of her new Rural Preservation Series on the Upstate Forever blog, Land Policy Manager Allie Martinsen shares what local municipalities and counties can do to protect and maintain the rural character of the Upstate.

Read more on the UF blog

Stay tuned for monthly blog posts celebrating the value of our rural lands while exploring opportunities for long-term preservation!

Upstate wetlands in danger

The Supreme Court of the United States made a catastrophic decision against US waterways with their ruling in the Sackett v. EPA case, rolling back decades of efforts to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation's waters. Our Clean Water team published an illuminating blog post explaining this ruling and what it could mean for Upstate waters. Read more

2023 legislative wrap-up

Want to catch up on what happened at the Statehouse this year? In a two-part recap, State Policy Director Megan Chase-Muller shares what you need to know about several bills that made it to the finish line and those that will be picked back up next year, and the real success for conservation this year, the State Budget. Don't miss a moment next year: Sign up to receive our "LegUps" in your inbox.

Save the date: Apply August 1-20

Our Citizens Planning Academy is returning this fall! Greenville residents, business owners, neighborhood leaders, and other stakeholders are invited to join this interactive, introductory course designed to empower citizens to engage in local planning and land use policy efforts. Click here to be notified when the application window opens on Aug. 1.

Protected properties recognized

Two properties permanently protected by UF conservation easements were recognized at the 2023 South Carolina Historic Preservation Awards last month. Mable Owens Clarke — sixth-generation steward and matriarch of Soapstone Church in Pickens — was honored with the Governor’s Award. The Spring Park Inn in Travelers Rest also received a Preservation Honor Award. 

More news, information & updates

Successful advocacy for stronger tree protections in Anderson

After advocacy efforts on behalf of UF and TreesUpstate, Anderson City Council revised their zoning ordinance to adopt Article 13: Tree Preservation, Landscape, Screening, Sidewalks and Walkways. The final draft of the adopted Article included a number of proposed recommendations related to exemptions for invasive species, strengthened protections for trees with a DBH (diameter at breast height) over 8 inches, and simplified tree classifications.

New! Do you live, work, or play in Anderson? Click here to join our Anderson Land Planning & Policy Updates email list to receive news, updates, and action alerts related to land use planning and policy issues in Anderson City and County.

Staff anniversaries

This month we're celebrating the anniversaries of several UF team members:

Follow us on social media:
Facebook  Instagram  Twitter  Linkedin  Youtube  

Your tax-deductible gift to Upstate Forever will go directly toward protecting critical lands and saving special places in the Upstate.

Support our work
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.