Part 17A. Western North Carolina Public Lands Council.

143B-324.1. Western North Carolina Public Lands Council creation; powers; duties.

The Western North Carolina Public Lands Council is created within the Department of Environmental Quality. The North Carolina National Park, Parkway and Forests Development [Western North Carolina Public Lands Council] Council shall:

(1) Endeavor to promote the development of that part of the Smoky Mountains National Park lying in North Carolina, the completion and development of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, the development of the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests, and the development of other recreational areas in that part of North Carolina immediately affected by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Pisgah or Nantahala national forests.

(2) Study the development of these areas and to recommend a policy that will promote the development of the entire area generally designated as the mountain section of North Carolina, with particular emphasis upon the development of the scenic and recreational resources of the region, and the encouragement of the location of tourist facilities along lines designed to develop to the fullest these resources in the mountain section.

(3) Confer with the various departments, agencies, commissioners and officials of the federal government and governments of adjoining states in connection with the development of the federal areas and projects named in this section.

(4) Advise and confer with the various officials, agencies or departments of the State of North Carolina that may be directly or indirectly concerned in the development of the resources of these areas.

(5) Advise and confer with the various interested individuals, organizations or agencies that are interested in developing this area.

(6) Use its facilities and efforts in formulating, developing and carrying out overall programs for the development of the area as a whole.

(7) Study the need for additional entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, together with the need for additional highway approaches and connections.

(8) File its findings in this connection as recommendations with the National Park Service of the federal government, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

(9) Advise the Secretary of Environmental Quality upon any matter the Secretary of Environmental Quality may refer to it. (1973, c. 1262, s. 66; 1977, c. 198, ss. 5, 26; 1989, c. 751, s. 9(c); 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 959, s. 85; 1997-443, ss. 11A.123, 15.36(b), (c); 2010-180, s. 7(b); 2015-241, ss. 14.30(u), (v).)