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Land Trust conserves more property

Rare lily

Dr. David Blevins The Sandhills lily.

Three Rivers Land Trust

Three Rivers Land Trust will conserve of a 95-acre family farm in northern Cabarrus County. Alex Rankin, the landowner, worked with Three Rivers Land Trust to place a permanent a conservation easement on his family farm. Conservation easements are flexible tools that allow for continued farming practices, while restricting the future development and subdivision of this important parcel.

“The conservation of this farm is great both from an agricultural perspective and a water quality perspective. Keeping this land undeveloped will provide for future farming opportunities as well as helping to protect the water quality in the Coddle Creek Reservoir. We are grateful to have worked with Alex to help conserve such a remarkable property,” said Executive Director Travis Morehead.

Last October, Three Rivers Land Trust completed another conservation project on the Coddle Creek Reservoir, protecting an additional 41 acres of land. “In the last nine months we have conserved over 130 acres of land that adjoin Coddle Creek Reservoir, a primary drinking water source for Cabarrus County residents,” said Crystal Cockman, director of conservation. “We are committed to working with property owners to conserve tracts like these, while they are still available.”

Three Rivers Land Trust, soon to be a merged organization with the Sandhills Area Land Trust has added  15 acres 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 Kiser’s to add this important property to the Plant Conservation Program’s Eastwood Preserve,” said 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 Plant EcologistLesley Starke, 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.

To learn more about how to protect your own property, or how to support Three Rivers Land Trust in our conservation mission, contact Crystal Cockman at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org

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