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The preservation of our liberty depends in part on our ability to preserve our property rights. That is why the issue that most seriously jeopardizes our liberty is the river buffers issue. New legislation enacted in 2001 temporarily limits Catawba River Basin property owners' use of their land that falls into a "buffer zone" - a 50-foot strip of undeveloped land that surrounds rivers, lakes, or streams. Under the new regulation, property owners are prohibited, or severely limited as to how this buffer zone may be used. Farming, grazing, or adding on to a property owner's land within the buffer zone is either strictly regulated or altogether prohibited. In 2003, a vote will be taken to permanently enforce the temporary buffer zones within the Catawba River basin.
-- Ken Moore, NC State Senator
To address this threat to our property rights, North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy (NC CSE) has been traveling the state educating those affected by these buffer rules. On January 15, NC CSE held an educational seminar with Alan Clark from the NC Division of Water Quality. More than 300 individuals attended to learn more, ask questions, and protest the new regulations. A number of state legislators attended the event, as well as Congressman Charles Taylor (below), who stated, "It was a great turnout and showed that people of this area are very interested in protecting their private property rights. CSE helped to encourage folks to become more aware of issues that affect their lives."
As the leader in educating citizens on important issues that affect their lives, NC CSE has sought to raise awareness of this issue. In fact, NC CSE has ignited a full-fledged educational campaign across the state to repeal temporary and permanent buffer rules established by the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) under HB 1160, "The Clean Water Act of 1999." Thousands of citizens have signed our "No Buffer Petition." We will be holding CSE club meetings across the state on the issue and in March, we plan to have our NC CSE Property Rights Summit where this issue will be a topic of hot debate.