Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Independent Weekly Vol. 7 Issue 37, November 16-22 1989
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Recognizing the need to protect the environment has been a big issue in 1989. Some argue that protecting the environment slows economic growth in the Triangle and hurts the working class who need the jobs and the benefits of growth. With this article as an introduction to the 1989 Citizen Awards, The Independent recognizes five individuals and one group who work in the Triangle to protect the environment and the economy in the following articles.
Michael Bleyman is the director of the Chatham County group the Carnivore Preservation Trust (CPT). The former UNCH Chapel Hill professor is trying to ensure the survival of endangered species affected by habitat destruction through a captive breeding program. The CPT holds several world breeding records and Bleyman has received awards for his work.
The Shiloh Coalition for Community Control and Improvement’s fight for clean water and responsible local industry has earned them regional and national recognition. The EPA recognized the group for getting people to act after the Beazer Company leaked chemicals into area groundwater. The group has managed to put public pressure on the company and the company is paying for town access to city water. The group is praised for its excellent example of cooperation among residents toward a common goal. , especially between black and white citizens.
Billie Rogers and Margaret Pollard are lobbying for pesticide regulations based on a common-sense respect for life. In 1985, the Gorgus residents were victims of pesticide spraying by the Boise Cascade paper company which caused health and environmental problems in their community. The state denied that his occurred and suppressed reports that a direct spray occurred. Rogers and Pollard are lobbying to increase the buffer zone around homes from 100 to 300 feet to protect public health.
Dave Owens is the former director of the Division of Coastal Management. Owens helped create the Estuarine Sanctuary Program and pushed coastal-development regulation. Committed to protecting North Carolina’s coastal habitats and communities who depend on those habitats, Owens worked hard to resist pressure to weaken regulations for developers. He was forced out of his position and now works at UNC’s Institute for Government, but continues to be a role model for coastal management leaders.
Jim Clark is the president of Save the Water, a Durham-based coalition of conservationists. Clark and the group are lobbying for watershed protection measures in the Triangle area. The area water supply is polluted and at further risk due to booming growth in the area. Clark proposed the “Triangle Express,” a light-rail system, that would be less harmful to the area watershed than the proposed highway thoroughfare plan that would send roads and spur growth in the Falls Lake watershed area.