The Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program is a conservation funding program provided by the taxpayers of Beaufort County. The Open Land Trust contracts with the County to manage this program. Applications for funding are reviewed quarterly and awarded by Beaufort County Council.
The Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program has levied taxpayer dollars since 1999. The program is publicly supported by Beaufort County citizens via bond referendum, most recently in 2018.
The Rural and Critical Program protects many special properties including working farms and forests, important cultural and historic sites, passive parkland, rural land adjacent to streams and important waterbodies, and critical lands in cities, and along scenic vistas.