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  • Deborah McCutchen

The State: Letters: Support Equine Act

https://www.thestate.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article276489541.html


Many rural, agriculturally driven counties in our state are facing urban sprawl and development at a pace never seen before while much of our rich, ecologically significant farmland is being zoned as low-density residential (LDR) by local governments.


We must consider unique opportunities that assist in conserving our farmlands, which is exactly what the South Carolina Equine Advancement Act does.


The legislation, passed by the S.C. House of Representatives, would create a grant program that could assist in preserving our state’s agricultural land.


Approximately 70% of land in South Carolina counties with a large equine presence is categorized as LDR and therefore eight times more likely to be transformed into commercial or residential real estate.


Funding from the grant program would go directly to support equine-based organizations and horse activities that utilize and maintain our agricultural land and farming heritage, including growing and preserving the existing horse trail network, allowing organizations the financial flexibility to preserve private property through conservation easements, and providing additional funding to utilize more acreage for horse-related activities, like grazing and training.


Please consider supporting the South Carolina Equine Advancement Act and protecting one of our state’s most valuable natural resources – agricultural land.


Deborah McCutchen, Kingstree




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