Three Rivers and Sandhills Area land trusts to merge

Published 11:52 am Tuesday, February 26, 2019

SALISBURY — Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT), formerly The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, and Sandhills Area Land Trust (SALT) will complete a formal merger by June. The resulting conservation organization will remain Three Rivers Land Trust and be headquartered in Salisbury.

A group of Moore County residents founded SALT in 1991. Since then, SALT has protected an estimated 15,000 acres in the Sandhills and surrounding counties, including 90 miles of stream and river buffers. Its staff has worked to transfer more than 4,000 acres to public access. SALT encompasses Moore, Cumberland, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond and Harnett counties, as well as longleaf pine ecosystem areas in Lee and Robeson counties.

TRLT was founded in 1995 and operates in a 10-county region — Anson, Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Iredell, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan and Stanly. Since its beginning, TRLT has protected more than 26,000 acres and remains committed to conserving the natural areas, rural landscapes, family farms and historic places within North Carolina’s central Piedmont.

Both land trusts are private non-profit organizations that depend on the generosity of those who care about the central Piedmont and Sandhills areas. TRLT and SALT have worked to ensure the conservation of those natural resources. Joining TRLT and SALT became an obvious next step for the expansion of local conservation.

“We are convinced that our continued success demands a larger staff, enhanced technology, increased efficiency and a broader funding base. By combining our operations with those of Three Rivers we can move toward meeting those demands. We expect to gain effectiveness and expand our membership and financial support. The result, we believe, will be an increased capacity to pursue our conservation mission,” says Kyle Sonnenberg, SALT board president.

Once the merger is complete, the Sandhills Area Land Trust will cease to be a separate entity and their current region will fall under the purview of Three Rivers Land Trust.

“We are thankful that both the SALT and TRLT Board of Directors understood the importance of looking to the future of conservation,” says Travis Morehead, TRLT executive director. “By uniting our organizations, we will increase our ability to conserve our natural resources. This merger will allow us to reach more constituents and grow the base of support for local conservation.”

Follow both organizational websites for updates as the merger progresses,

For more information about Three Rivers Land Trust, please contact The Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or or visit their website at