The Pacolet Area Conservancy is fighting for you

Published 10:56 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2015

To the editor:

As many know, Duke Energy has announced a Western Carolinas Modernization Project that proposes several new transmission line routes through Polk County and the surrounding areas of northern Greenville County, northern Spartanburg County, and Henderson County. These are areas where our economic well being is inextricably tied to its stunning natural beauty and abundant green spaces. All these areas would be severely damaged by the transmission line, wherever it is built.

The area proposed by Duke also includes some of the most ecologically important lands on the planet.

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The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) is honored to protect many properties with conservation easements, some of which are located within the “study area” proposed by Duke. Unfortunately, these easement agreements cannot legally stop a utility from condemning rights-of-way for transmission lines.  But, so far, Duke Energy has skirted properties with conservation easements, remaining along the perimeter rather than driving right through them as it has done with so many other, unprotected properties.

Please rest assured that from the beginning, PAC has been working diligently to oppose the transmission lines that threaten our mission “to protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds.”

PAC has been in alliance with other land trusts in the area, in support of community groups that are in strong opposition to the proposed project, and using email and social media to raise awareness and encourage petition and commentary against Duke’s Plan.  PAC has been in attendance at community meetings held by Duke and by the SC and NC public services commissions. One of our board members spoke at the recent NC Utilities Commission meeting in Hendersonville.

PAC’s Board of Directors has also issued a resolution objecting to and opposing the installation of high power transmission lines and associated towers in and across Polk County, Spartanburg County, and Greenville County. PAC has submitted the resolution to the NC Utilities Commission and the SC Public Services Commission.

PAC has worked for 26 years to “Save the Places You Love!”  We have helped to preserve more than 8,600 acres to date and we are currently working on seven new land saving projects. We are proud of the work we have accomplished, and we pledge to stand by you and your intentions to preserve the conservation values on your property to the best of our ability.

Please, write your state utilities commission:

The North Carolina Utilities Commission, 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699. General email:

The South Carolina Public Service Commission, 101 Executive Dr., No. 100, Columbia, S.C. 29210.  General email:


Mary Arrington Walter
Tryon, N.C.