Our Vision: A completely protected New River as a treasured national resource.
NCNR Mission Statement
History of NCNR
NCNR was organized in 1974 to stop the construction of two dams on the New River. The proposed projects would have flooded 42,000 acres in North Carolina and southwestern Virginia. The dams would have displaced at a minimum 2,700 people, 893 dwellings, 42 summer cabins, 10 industrial establishments, 23 commercial facilities, five post offices, 15 churches, and 12 cemeteries. (Click here for map)
With the destruction of so much land and property – and with the unaccountable damage to the New River itself, the fight became a national one.
NCNR was successful in 1976, when a 26.5-mile section of the River was designated a Federal Scenic River. NCNR continued to function as an advocate for the New as a volunteer organization. Over the years NCNR has worked with citizen groups to stop other ill-conceived projects on the River like a power plant, flood plain development and a prison.
In 1991, NCNR reorganized and became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The reorganization expanded NCNR’s mission by adding a land protection dimension to river advocacy. NCNR acquired its first conservation easement in 1993. To date NCNR has protected over 5,500 acres of land important to the health and natural resource values of the New River.
In response to rapid development and concerns about water quality, in 1998 NCNR began the River Builder program to help landowners stabilize eroding stream and riverbanks. The program has continued to expand; NCNR is now doing full restoration projects in addition to the stabilization work. To date NCNR has stabilized or restored more than 55 miles of stream and riverbank.
The NCNR Staff
Santucci, Executive Director
Prior to his work with Extension, George was a high school Math teacher in the Bronx, an Instructor with the North Carolina Outward Bound School and an Adjunct Instructor in Appalachian State University's Recreation Management Department. He has paddled, biked and climbed along the New River. His passion for environmental conservation was intensified during four months spent leading Outward Bound Courses in the Florida Everglades. Seeing the wholesale alteration of an entire ecosystem as rare and unique as the Everglades lead him to dedicating his professional life to the preservation and protection of natural wild places.
Along the way, Courtney gathered experience in hydrology, limnology, and physical/chemical/biological testing. She even founded a campus recycling organization, and expanded its activities to include the local business community. And, as an intern at North Carolina Clean Water, she focused her learning in the field on sediment and erosion control.
Is it any wonder she found her way to NCNR? If you’ve talked with Courtney, you’ve probably noticed how contagious her passion for protecting our irreplaceable water resources is. And, she’s a real “doer” when it comes to protecting the New River. Over the summer, Courtney organized our efforts in North Carolina and Virginia for the annual Big Sweep River Clean Up. She recruited volunteers, sponsors, in-kind contributions, and jumped in the water herself that day, fishing out her share of tires, as well as other interesting trash.
Lynn Caldwell, Restoration
Carol Coulter, Director of Operations
A New York native, she moved to Ashe County in North Carolina in 1995, after having worked in outdoor/leadership programs at UNC Charlotte and the NC Outward Bound School. In Ashe County she served as an administrator for the Ashe County Partnership for Children and directed the Family Central project that converted a vacated high school into a community center that currently houses family support services, a business incubator, parks and recreation programs, and for the past year, the offices of NCNR.
Carol and her husband, Lon, live on a farm in Ashe County where they operate an agri-tourism business offering workshops on blacksmithing, broom tying, hide tanning and also a goat dairy.
In addition to directing day-to-day operations activities, Carol works extensively with landowners on projects to protect their lands that are important to the well-being of the New River. “As a farmer myself, and as someone who loves the New River, I’m really looking forward to helping preserve the irreplaceable natural resources of the New River throughout the watershed,” said Coulter.
Laura Green, Administrative Assisstant
Brad Baskette (a.k.a 12 Grain), Stewardship Coordinator
It wasn�t long after his tenure in Richmond, VA that Brad heard the New River calling him back �home.� During the late summer of 2010, he joined NCNR as an AmeriCorps volunteer focusing on assisting NCNR with land protection and stewardship program areas. Now an official staff member of our team, Brad currently serves as our Stewardship Coordinator where he is grateful for the opportunities to work with such wonderful landowners and members who share his passion for protecting, enhancing, and recreating on the New.
Board Members (return
Russ Moxley, President