In April 2000, Orange County enacted a comprehensive program for the acquisition of protection of highly important natural and cultural resource lands entitled the "Lands Legacy Program."
In a county that has seen its population double since 1970, thousands of acres of important resource lands have been lost to urban conversion. Fortunately, however, many important resource lands still exist in the County.
The Lands Legacy Program has five standing priority areas for acquisition:
- Future Parklands
- Lands of Historic, Cultural, or Archaeological Significance
- Natural Areas and Wildlife Habitat (NC Natural Heritage sites)
- Prime Farmlands
- Watershed Riparian Buffer lands
In addition to these categories, other opportunities that arise are also evaluated and considered for conservation value. Every two years the Board of County Commissioners adopts an "Action Plan" that contains the Lands Legacy priorities for the upcoming two fiscal years.