Clawson runs for re-election, wants to improve water quality and reduce pollution

The+Appalachian+Online

The Appalachian Online

Anna Muckenfuss, Appalachian Weekly News Producer

After being a member of the Watauga Soil and Water board for four years and being involved in farming his entire life, Joey Clawson is running for re-election for the Watauga Soil and Water district supervisor.

Clawson is a self-employed farmer who owns two local Christmas tree farms: Clawson’s Christmas Tree Farm and Panoramic View Christmas Tree Farm.

“I’m a farmer and a strong advocate for conservation,” Clawson said. “I take things seriously because I want clean water to swim and fish in. Farmers are the best conservationists.”

The Watauga Soil And Water Conservation District is a subdivision of state government charged with planning, executing and promoting sound conservation practices, according to Wataugacounty.org. Clawson’s position on the board goes up for election every four years.

As a member of the board, Clawson works to allocate stream restoration funds from the North Carolina Agricultural Cost Share program to improve water quality and reduce pollution.

“People apply for assistance and we rank the individual’s needs based on the usage of the area and other variables,” Clawson said. “From the rank, we give them we decide who needs funding the most.”

The funds distributed to farmers by the Watauga Soil and Water board are used to improve stream quality and reduce runoff.

“Farms with severe needs are encouraged to apply so we can help improve the water supply,” Clawson said. “The whole process is about protecting streams from pollution.”

Clawson is running against Chris Hughes and Bill Moretz.

Story by Anna Muckenfuss