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LandTrust protects headwaters of Barnes Creek

Headwaters protected

Submitted photo Barnes Creek in Montogmery County has now been protected by the LandTrust for Central North Carolina.

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina has protected the Barnes Creek Headwaters Property, 182 acres located in Montgomery County.

The property includes the headwaters of Barnes Creek, which is designated an outstanding resource water, the highest water quality designation given in North Carolina. Several species of rare mussel are found downstream of the property.

The site is also home to mixed hardwood forest, which provides wildlife habitat for species such as the eastern box turtle and timber rattlesnake.

“The LandTrust is pleased to have worked with the landowner to protect this special property,” said Executive Director Travis Morehead. “This site will now remain as a forested property for the benefit of wildlife species and water quality. Located in the heart of the Uwharrie National Forest, this property builds off a base of already conserved lands, which provides more conservation value for the effort.”

The N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund is one of the grant agencies that contributed to the protection of the Barnes Creek project. The fund was established in 1996 to help finance projects that address water quality issues.

The fund supports projects that enhance or restore degraded waters, protect unpolluted waters, contribute toward a network of riparian buffers and greenways, provide buffers around military bases, acquire land that represents the ecological diversity of North Carolina, and acquire land that contributes to the development of a balanced state program of historic properties.

The latter two goals were added since the dissolution of the North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund and its objectives were merged with the Clean Water fund.

Through its Southeast Resilient Landscapes Fund, the Open Space Institute provided grant funding for the Barnes Creek project, as well. That program is designed to help land trusts and public agencies protect places that are most likely to endure over the long term in the face of a changing climate.

“The resiliency of the Barnes Creek Headwaters Property will make it an invaluable haven for wildlife and human communities as the climate changes,” said Peter Howell, OSI’s executive vice president in charge of the Conservation Capital Program. “This project demonstrates the important role that land conservation can play in protecting places not just important for today, but also far into the future. OSI commends the LandTrust for Central North Carolina on this outstanding achievement.”

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