Dystra land

A portion of the 30-acre Dykstra land donation to Three Rivers Land Trust, one of several projects recently announced by the organization. Photo courtesy of TRLT

Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) is excited to announce that it has officially merged with the Sandhills Area Land Trust (SALT), effective July 1.

As a result, TRLT’s previous 10-county footprint now includes five new counties, bringing the Piedmont-based organization into the Sandhills and Coastal Plain. TRLT and SALT board members worked on this merger for several years, and are proud to see the two organizations officially become one.

Founded in 1991, SALT has protected an estimated 15,000 acres in the Sandhills through conservation efforts in Moore, Cumberland, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond and Harnett counties, as well as longleaf pine ecosystem areas in Lee and Robeson counties.

TRLT, formerly the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, was established in 1995. The organization has protected over 26,000 acres through projects in Anson, Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Iredell, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan and Stanly counties.

“Three Rivers Land Trust is excited to have a conservation presence in the Sandhills,” states Travis Morehead, Executive Director of TRLT. “Having been stationed at Fort Bragg, and working as a planner for The Town of Angier, the Sandhills are an important place to me, personally. I appreciate all of the new conservation opportunities and partnerships our organization will be afforded working in this unique part of the state.”

Travis Morehead

Travis Morehead

Two other current TRLT staff members also have a connection to the expanded footprint. Associate Director Michael “Mikey” Nye Fulk is originally from nearby Robeson County, and Crystal Cockman, Director of Conservation grew up in Robbins in Northern Moore County.

“The Sandhills and Coastal Plain counties provide new and diverse habitats for TRLT staff to work to protect,” states Crystal Cockman. “These areas are near and dear to SALT’s supporters, and TRLT looks forward to championing these special areas as conservation priorities.”

TRLT will remain headquartered in Salisbury, but will retain the Southern Pines field office to provide a presence in the eastern part of the region. Seven of SALT’s eight current board members will now join the existing TRLT Board of Directors.

Crystal Cockman

Crystal Cockman

One of TRLT’s strongest programs is the county chapter program, which enables the Land Trust to expand its’ conservation mission into the region. “Volunteer and member based support is the driving force behind local conservation,” states Mikey Fulk. “Currently, our organization provides volunteer opportunities through local chapters and we are excited to expand these programs to the Sandhills and Coastal regions.”

To learn more about how you can support TRLT or how to volunteer with the organization, contact Michael Fulk at 704-647-0302 or michael@threeriverslandtrust.org.

(1) comment

Kent Misegades

Is there proof that land owned by such trusts is in any better condition than land used for timber or agriculture? Land owners have an incentive to take care of their property, to maximize profits on the sale of products derived from their land. Trust land might as well have a high fence around it, allowing only the chosen few access.

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