Conservation Institute Program - Southern Appalachians Assessment

Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Southern Appalachians Assessment

Programs Conservation Research Overview  Leveraging Capital 

Laurel Knob 

Laurel Knob


In 2005, OSI expanded its conservation finance work to the Southern Appalachian Mountains to protect an ecologically unique environment under duress. Plants and animals found nowhere else on earth live in this 70 million-acre forest that stretches across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.  The region also offers havens for hiking and rafting, productive agriculture, and clean water, yet the area faces multiple threats including rapid population growth, development, and intense timber harvesting. 

The Southern Appalachian Land Protection Fund, launched in summer 2005, grew out of the Conservation Institute’s Southern Appalachian Conservation Assessment that documented growing threats to the region’s forestlands and increasing demand among land trusts for both permanent and interim funding for conservation transactions. The study was completed in 2004 with funding from the Merck Family Fund and the Z. Smith Reynolds and Lyndhurst Foundations.


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