Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
Your voice counts, and we have definitive proof:
Duke Energy's new fixed rate will be $11.96 instead of the proposed $28
When Duke Energy Carolinas proposed a 238% increase to their basic facilities charge for all customers — the fixed portion of your bill you must pay before flipping on a single light switch — Upstate Forever partnered with the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), the NAACP, and the Coastal Conservation League to intervene.

After many months of hearings and deliberation, we are glad to announce that the Public Service Commission of South Carolina has issued the final order: Duke’s basic facilities charge will be raised to $11.96. This is a tremendous improvement over the previously proposed rate of $28.

We'd like to thank our partners NAACP, Coastal Conservation League and our attorneys at the Southern Environmental Law Center. But most of all, we would like to thank those of you who showed up to the Public Service Commission hearings and shared your thoughts. You spoke. They listened.

What Missing Middle Housing means for Greenville
We recently spoke with Armand Regnaert, a City of Greenville intern who completed a case study on missing middle housing in Greenville, about how certain types of housing development could impact lives in the Upstate. Read the interview
Join us for the Spartanburg Housing Summit
United Way of the Piedmont, Upstate Forever, and other partners are hosting a workshop and discussion of the importance of housing for all on Thursday, May 30 from 8:30am-2pm at Converse College. Reserve your space
The Upstate Advocate is here
Our twice-yearly print newsletter sponsored by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises is now available! ⁣If you did not receive your copy or would like to be added to the mailing list, email Ava Thacker at [email protected].
Your guide to Upstate adventures
To raise awareness of  our goal to protect 15,000 additional acres of critical lands by 2022, we've compiled a list of 15 amazing outdoor activities across the Upstate. Start your summer adventure list
Energy and state policy updates
The 2019 Legislative Session ended on May 9, and we are pleased to report it was the unexpected "Year of the Environment."

  • H. 3659, the Energy Freedom Act, continues residential rooftop net metering at current rates until 2021, removes caps for net metering, establishes predictable rules for large-scale solar installations, requires improved utility capacity planning, and encourages more community solar projects. The bill passed both chambers unanimously after a tremendous effort to reach consensus and became law on May 16.

  • S. 362, the Solar on Superfund bill, creates a tax credit for large-scale solar projects on a variety of contaminated brownfield sites (including many potential sites in the Upstate). This bill progressed without controversy until it almost became an unintended casualty of unrelated legislative maneuvering in the final week of the session. The language was amended onto another tax credit bill, H. 4133, which passed in the last half hour of session and also became law on May 16.

  • Additionally, through a vote on a budget proviso, the Senate expressed strong opposition to offshore drilling.

  • Bills that concerned us, such as the Plastics "Ban Ban" bill (S. 394) and the Plastics Pyrolysis bill (H. 4152, which needs more safeguards), did not become law this year.

  • Raleigh West, former Executive Director of the Lord Berkeley Land Trust, was confirmed in the last week of session as the new Executive Director of the SC Conservation Bank, an agency that is critical to Upstate Forever's mission to conserve and protect our special places.

After years of fighting against a barrage of regulatory rollbacks, this year was a breath of fresh air. Engagement with elected officials by Upstate citizens was key to this success. To subscribe to our Legislative Update emails, published weekly during session, click here. To catch up on the 2019 Legislative Session, visit the Upstate Forever blog.
Celebrate with us on Land Trust Day
Stop by Mast General Store in downtown Greenville on Saturday, June 1 to speak with our Land Conservation team about their latest easements, how you can get involved, and more. Mast General is also donating 20% of the day's sales to Upstate Forever. Learn more
Protect the Upstate, Be the Upstate
Pledge at least $25 per year for three years or make a one-time gift of $50 or more in support of the Crossroads Campaign and receive our limited edition Be the Upstate tee created in collaboration with local outfitter Dapper Ink. Donate now
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:

  • Upstate Forever's Annual Meeting: Sunday, October 13, 2019 at Lake Conestee Nature Park in Greenville— 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.
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 .