Three Rivers Land Trust, soon to be a merged organization with the Sandhills Area Land Trust, has announced the addition of two parcels of environmental significance in Moore County.
The first is 15 acres being added to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Plant Conservation Program’s Eastwood Preserve in Moore County.
This site is a significant natural heritage area as identified by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, known primarily for its occurrence of the state endangered Sandhills lily, which occurs only in the Sandhills of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The Sandhills lily is a relatively new species, discovered by long-time Moore County resident and botanist, Bruce Sorrie, around 20 years ago.
Three Rivers Land Trust worked with the landowners, Andy and Heather Kiser, to purchase the tract using Clean Water Management Trust Fund dollars, and then transferred the tract to the state. This property brings the total acreage of land in the Eastwood Preserve to 392 acres.
“Three Rivers Land Trust appreciates the opportunity given to us by the Kisers to add this important property to the Plant Conservation Program’s Eastwood Preserve,” said Executive Director Travis Morehead. “Conserving our state’s significant and rare species and ecosystems has been a primary goal of the Land Trust since our inception, and we are pleased to continue these efforts in our newly expanded region.”
The mission of the NC Plant Conservation Program is to conserve the native plant species of North Carolina in their natural habitats, now and for future generations. “The addition of this tract to the existing Plant Conservation Preserve is an important part of protecting the habitat that this plant requires,” said Lesley Starke, a plant ecologist with NC Plant Conservation Program.
As with all NC Plant Conservation Program preserves, due to the sensitive nature of the species found on site, the site is only open to the public through workdays and guided tours offered by the NC Plant Conservation Program through a partnership with the Friends of Plant Conservation (FoPC). Workdays are announced on the FoPC website ncplantfriends.org.
The second parcel involves the conservation of 17 acres on the Deep River in Moore County. This property conserves significant frontage on the Deep River and helps protect the natural area character of the region.
The Deep River flows through northern Moore and across Lee County before joining the Cape Fear River downstream from Jordan Lake. It is a major contributor to the water supply of these counties as well as Harnett and Cumberland Counties. The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program lists the Sandhills section of the Deep River Corridor as a “Nationally Significant Natural Area.”
The Sandhills Area Land Trust (SALT) has worked quietly over the last few years with several diverse groups to protect and conserve thousands of acres of land along the Deep River in northern Moore County. The Deep River Initiative takes a “landscape scale” approach to conservation and land protection, with consideration for the rural lifestyle and historical use of the land. Three Rivers Land Trust will continue this Deep River Initiative.
“As the first conservation easement in the Sandhills that Three Rivers Land Trust has completed since our planned merger with the Sandhills Area Land Trust, we are excited for people to see our commitment to conservation in the Sandhills region,” Morehead said. “We know this is only the beginning of the great strides we hope to make for conservation in this part of North Carolina.”
This project was made possible through funding from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the support of Three Rivers Land Trust members. Thanks also go out to Jeffrey and Linda Sheer, the owners of the property, for working with TRLT to see their important property conserved.
To learn more about conservation options for your property, or to find out how to support Three Rivers Land Trust, contact Crystal Cockman at (704) 647-0302 or firstname.lastname@example.org