• 61°

LandTrust acquires Longleaf Preserve in Montgomery County

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina has acquired Smith Branch Longleaf Preserve in Montgomery County.

This 105-acre property adjoins Uwharrie National Forest. Previously protected with a conservation easement in February, the previous landowner offered to sell the preserve to LandTrust. This purchase ensures continual management of the longleaf pine ecosystem on the property.

The previous landowner had managed Smith Branch Longleaf Preserve for longleaf pine enhancement and restoration for the past 25 years. Management practices included replacing loblolly stands with longleaf pine plantings and prescribed burns.

Old growth longleaf pines are found on the property.

Prescribed burns are conducted every two years on the 105-acre property. This habitat management practice prevents hardwood trees from overtaking longleaf stands.

Prescribed burning also opens the forest floor to sunlight, allowing a variety of wildflowers to grow. The rare blue flag iris (Iris prismatica) and bog spicebush (Lindera subcoriacea) grow found on the property.

Other wildflowers on the preserve include yellow-fringed orchids, green-fringed orchids, Piedmont indigo bush, Carolina lily, grass pink orchid and Virginia bunchflower. Fox squirrels and timber rattlesnake also live there.

“The LandTrust is both excited and humbled to take over ownership of this unique site,” said Executive Director Travis Morehead. “It will be our honor to continue the great management started here so many years ago to the benefit of the plants and wildlife found on the property.”

The purchase of the conservation easement was made possible by grants from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Open Space Institute’s Southeast Resilience Landscapes Fund. Private donations to LandTrust also were made for the purchase.

To support LandTrust and its conservation projects, become a member at www.landtrustcnc.org.

To learn more about this project, contact Crystal Cockman at 704-647-0302 or crystal@landtrustcnc.org.



Rowan County sees 300th death attributed to COVID-19


Chauvin convicted on all counts in George Floyd’s death


Top North Carolina House finance chair, Rowan representative stripped of position


One charged, another hospitalized in fight between cousins


Bell Tower Green renamed to honor Stanbacks; Nancy Stanback receives key to city


Commissioners green light additional houses at Cherry Treesort in China Grove


A.L. Brown will hold in-person, outdoor graduation


Granite Quarry awards FEMA contract for Granite Lake Park


City to vote on apartment developments, final phases of Grants Creek Greenway project

High School

High school football: North receiver McArthur a rising star


Carl Blankenship: Pollen and prejudice make their return


Harris pitches $2.3T spending plan on trip to North Carolina


Murder case against ex-cop in Floyd’s death goes to the jury


Sheriff’s office: Man takes deputies on chase with stolen moped


Afternoon, evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic planned Thursday


Concord man charged with woman’s murder in drive-by shooting

Ask Us

Ask Us: Have city, county elected officials received COVID-19 vaccine?


City gives away nearly 100 trees during ‘We Dig Salisbury’ event


Political Notebook: Bitzer expects most ‘Trump-like’ candidate to be favorite in state’s Senate race


Blotter: Concord man arrested in Rowan for indecent liberties with children


Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot


Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting


Hester Ford, oldest living American, dies at 115 … or 116?


Size of pipeline spill again underestimated in North Carolina