What a difference a year makes!  

Published 11:51 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2019

It has been almost a year since we stood together and fought to prevent Henderson County’s Sheriff’s Department from building a shooting range and law enforcement training center in Saluda’s back yard-potentially disrupting the natural environment and beauty, and impacting Saluda’s growing outdoor tourism and economy. 


Henderson County proposed the placement of a police training center on an undeveloped tract adjoining North Carolina’s Green River Game Lands on Macedonia Road north of Saluda. Thanks to your strenuous and vocal community response and the nearly unanimous opposition expressed by you and other local citizens, Henderson County Commissioners reversed their plans and they cancelled the proposed training center for the site. 

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Where do we go from here? With a “NO” decision on the purchase of Macedonia Road by Henderson County, the question left unanswered was, “what is the future for this naturally preserved, authentic piece of land? Could this land be in jeopardy of another sale to an undesirable use for this area? Now that question has been answered by the help of Conserving Carolina. 


Efforts have been made to fund the purchase of the once-threatened property and protect it from ever being developed into a shooting range or other disruptive use. A grassroots effort has been launched by neighbors near the proposed shooting range in partnership with leadership provided by Conserving Carolina, a nonprofit local land trust, to raise $450,000 to purchase and permanently conserve the Macedonia Road property. 


Last month, Conserving Carolina entered into a contract to purchase 81.5 acres of this property – the portion of the tract west of Macedonia Road adjoining the N.C. Green River Game Lands. The land trust has applied for funding from the NC Clean Water Management Trust and other outside sources in order to raise $350,000 of the funding needed for the acquisition.  


The Macedonia Road property is entirely forested, with streams and wetlands that protect waters that flow into the nearby Green River. Its protection will add to the existing wildlife and recreational corridor located on the adjacent Green River Game Lands, owned and managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Addition of the property to the Game Lands – which is Conserving Carolina’s eventual goal for the tract – will also ensure protection of scenic views from Interstate 26, which runs along the property’s southern boundary.  


Neighbors who live close to the property have already made generous gifts totaling $65,000 to help Conserving Carolina get the property under contract. 


The enthusiasm, energy, determination and teamwork that we experienced with each person involved in the Save Saluda effort created the force which prevented the gun range from becoming a reality. You and the entire community invested a great deal in stopping this environmental, economic and quality of life travesty from happening. 


For more information, visit www.conservingcarolina.org. 


– Submitted by Susan McHugh DiAnne Arbour