Conservation Almanac



South Carolina

South Carolina Profile of State Programs and Policy Framework

Highlighted Local Programs

South Carolina

Highlighted State Programs

South Carolina

State Policy Framework

South Carolina


To avoid double counting acres where multiple programs contributed to the acquisition of a single parcel, the acreage is only aggregated under the program that provided the majority of funding. For example, if the table below displays a dollar amount greater than $0 for a given year but shows 0 acres, the program was not the primary contributor for any parcels in that year. As a result, a prolific program may show very low acreage figures on this page. To see customized program information please visit the map viewer tab or contact the Conservation Almanac Team.

Highlighted Local Programs

Local Conservation Programs Include:

    Beaufort County, SC

    Hilton Head Island, SC

Visit for detailed information on this program.

2011 802.9 $4,800,000
2010 467.0 $15,150,400
2009 87.0 $5,626,277
2008 5,694.2 $14,850,000
2007 746.8 $24,650,000
2006 724.2 $7,995,000
2005 162.4 $9,988,919
2004 595.8 $22,958,625
2003 24.0 $10,334,708
2002 34.4 $4,776,000
2001 138.3 $28,852,785
2000 151.0 $8,093,386
1999 422.3 $8,265,585
1998 105.2 $15,777,000
Totals 10,155.6 $182,118,686

Highlighted State Programs

South Carolina Conservation Bank

In 2000, South Carolina began the Land Legacy Initiative, which established the need for a dedicated funding source to acquire environmentally sensitive lands. The initiative also aimed to encourage cooperation and innovative partnerships among landowners, state agencies, municipalities, and non-profit organizations to work together in order to meet these objectives. The South Carolina General Assembly, in a bipartisan effort, passed the South Carolina Conservation Bank Act. The Act was signed and ratified by the Governor in April 2002. Though the Act was passed in 2002, funding, derived through the real estate transfer tax, did not begin until July 2004. The Bank established a grant application process in fiscal year 2004-05. A local match is encouraged but not required.* The Conservation Bank was set to expire in 2013, but was extended through 2018 by the legislature. For the first time in years, the Legislature approved full funding at a projected level of $15 million in the 2015 legislative session. Bills to increase the allotment from the state deed recording fee from $0.25 to $0.30 of every $1.35 collected and to remove the sunset clause, did not pass.

2008 11,626.4 $12,080,780
2007 56,683.7 $30,575,284
2006 67,552.7 $31,457,045
2005 7,958.5 $14,052,770
2004 22,265.6 $10,959,223
Total166,086.9 $99,125,102

South Carolina Heritage Trust Program

The South Carolina Heritage Land Trust Program was created in 1976 to help prevent habitat loss by protecting critical endangered species sites through land acquisition. Enabling legislation directed the Department of Natural Resources, along with other state agencies, to set aside a system of protected heritage areas. The program succeeded initially through a combination of property donations and federal grants. In subsequent years, federal funding decreased and state funding for acquiring heritage preserves was added to the act in 1986, using part of the real estate transfer tax to create the Heritage Land Trust Fund.**

*Title 48 Chapter 59 S.C. Code of Laws Act 200
**(Sec. 51-17-20, 1976 S.C. Code of Laws); (Sec. 51-17-115)

2010 0.0 $2,602,000
2009 79.8 $300,000
2008 3,329.4 $13,237,820
2007 4,068.6 $16,197,417
2006 0.0 $10
2005 8,650.9 $7,119,101
2004 156.9 $305,354
2003 119.6 $418,565
2002 706.3 $1,924,761
2001 1,867.3 $4,772,396
2000 1,985.0 $2,514,252
1999 741.1 $1,075,884
1998 230.9 $299,904
Total21,935.6 $50,767,465

State Policy Framework

Substantial State Investment

Enable Local Financing

State Incentive for Local Land Conservation

Public-Private Partnerships

Conservation Tax Credits

Federal Partnerships

Some data was not provided on a yearly basis, but rather as an aggregate figure. In this case we have distributed total acres acquired and/or dollars spent evenly by year.