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Sep 08 2017

Op-Ed: You Can Make A Difference

By Dick Fishburn for The Island Connection

Undeveloped land at Kiawah’s entrance could be placed in a conservation easement. (Photo by Shauneen Hutchinson.)

In Kiawah’s 40 plus year history, property owners have never formally been asked to vote as a community to preserve undeveloped land in perpetuity. This month, you have the opportunity to protect the Kiawah experience for future generations.

Map illustrating the property to be conserved through a favorable vote by Kiawah residents.

In Kiawah Conservancy’s almost 20-year history, it has protected 36 properties covering almost 350 acres.

As we looked to a post-developer island, we asked ourselves what undeveloped property was most important to the balance of nature that brought us here.

We consulted with all community entities that are involved in Kiawah’s management and protection of its lifestyle. The decision was unanimous. We should protect the entranceway to the Island.

Say YES! To Kiawah.

You can make the dreams of most of your neighbors a reality. The Kiawah Island Community Association and Kiawah Partners have placed a vote in front of Kiawah property owners that involves an exchange of land owned by each. When the vote is received favorably by property owners, 700 acres of property will be available for conservation easement, including all undeveloped land at Kiawah’s entranceway.

People have asked me whether KICA could have negotiated a better deal. Possibly. But the delay raised the risk of development of the entrance, a risk that Conservancy Trustees unanimously were unwilling to take. Kiawah Island’s Town Council has supported this direction.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture have issued letters supporting the conservation of these areas.

Now you can make a difference. Learn more at kiawahconservancy.org/yestokiawah and please vote YES! to Kiawah.

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