Wildlife Commission, Land Trust protect more Yadkin shoreline

Published 2:19 pm Thursday, September 19, 2019

SALISBURY — The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Three Rivers Land Trust have bought 2,463 acres, including 45 miles of shoreline, along the Yadkin and South Yadkin rivers in Davie, Davidson and Rowan counties.

The commission and Three Rivers raised $7.7 million to purchase the land in a collaboration among federal, state, nonprofit and family foundation partners as well as private donors. They include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program; N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund; Ducks Unlimited in association with Wrangler; the N.C. Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation; Duke Energy; Nancy Stanback; Fred and Alice Stanback; Eddie Smith Jr.; and the Cannon Foundation.

In the 2007 Yadkin River Relicensing Settlement Agreement, Alcoa offered the state and Three Rivers the opportunity to buy the lands for conservation.

“Many of the parcels have been open for hunting, fishing and wildlife-associated recreation as a part of our game-lands program for more than 30 years,” said Brian McRae, land and water access chief for the Wildlife Resources Commission. “We are thrilled to permanently protect this land that provides high-quality wildlife habitat, public recreational opportunities and protects water quality in the Yadkin River basin.”

“Conserving these lands along the Yadkin River was foremost in the minds of Land Trust founders going all the way back to 1995,” said executive director Travis Morehead. “Our staff and donors worked diligently towards this moment for the past 24 years. We are proud to have helped NCWRC permanently conserve these lands for generations of North Carolinians to enjoy.”

“Protecting such a significant stretch of the Yadkin River will help maintain and improve the river’s water quality,” said Walter Clark, executive director of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. “The combination of conserving the river for its environmental and recreational benefit fits perfectly with the fund’s mission.”

An additional 2,420 acres enrolled in the wildlife commission’s game-lands program that span 31 miles of frontage along the eastern shore of the Tuckertown Reservoir is owned by Alcoa and also is subject to the Yadkin River settlement agreement.

The commission and Three Rivers Land Trust have until September 2021 to raise $8.5 million to buy that land.

For information on supporting this project, contact  Jessie Birckhead of the wildlife commission at 919-707-0066 or Three Rivers Land Trust at 704-647-0302.