Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
Like so many organizations, Upstate Forever temporarily closed its offices in mid-March and staff started teleworking. I traded my 45-minute commute for a much shorter kitchen-to-home-office scenario. Remote work for my husband and homeschooling for my kids began around the same time.

As we settled into our quarantine existence, we replaced time typically spent in a car with hours exploring the Clemson Experimental Forest. The Forest is an Upstate jewel — 17,500 acres of trees, trails, and waterfalls — and I’m fortunate enough to have access to it without even stepping foot in a car. Sadly, many Upstate residents cannot say the same. How many people are so lucky to live so close to such a magical outdoor place?
As I enjoyed an early morning trail run today, I was struck by the importance that places like the Forest play in our lives — especially in times of uncertainty and distress. And convinced that we all deserve such places. While I am always grateful to live so close to the Forest, it is easy to forget that not everyone is so fortunate.

I shared some more thoughts on Upstate Forever’s blog this week about what nature has meant to me during these difficult times — and why this situation has served as unexpected inspiration for the work that we do. Read more

As our Land Planning & Policy team advocates for a more balanced approach to development, we must remember that access to clean and safe outdoor spaces for Upstate residents is a critical component of that effort. As always, we’ll keep you informed as our work continues.

Be well,
Lisa Hallo
Land Policy Director, Upstate Forever
Watch: Conservation Webinars
The SC Conservation Coalition has been bringing you weekly webinars about conservation issues in our state, including two featuring UF staff. You can watch recordings of "Talking Trash" with Shelley Robbins and "Will SC Have Enough Water in 20 Years?" with Megan Chase. Watch the recordings
'No Dollar in the Holler'
Our partners at the South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP) have filed a notice of intent to take legal action against the developers of a NC Dollar General store and others over violations of the Endangered Species Act. The store is currently under construction entirely within a floodplain upstream of Upstate waters. Read more
What can be done about flooding?
Heavy rainfall led to flooding across much of the Upstate this week — and not for the first time in recent months. The good news is there are stormwater solutions that can be adopted at both the local and state levels. Our Clean Water Advocate Megan Chase explains more on the Upstate Forever blog. Read the blog post
How an Upstate gem came to be
Lake Conestee Nature Preserve is a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary in the center of Greenville County. A new book by Tom Kester — past chairman of the Conestee Foundation , current UF board treasurer & recipient of the Marjorie E. Schmidt Stewardship Award — tells the story of how this remarkable natural space came to be. Purchase your copy
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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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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 .