2001’s largest protected tract of land came through the generosity and concern of the family of Charles Brown of Rowan County. A telling of the Brown Family story reveals both a keen awareness of the necessity for conservation as well as a heart-warming story of a father’s dying wish.

During the year 2000 hunting season, Charles Brown III and his brother Arthur Brown made a commitment to one another that their family farm near Cleveland, NC would remain in its current natural and undeveloped state for generations to come. Regrettably, the two brothers would not have an opportunity to act upon their wishes together for Charles would meet his untimely passing just a couple of months later.

This past summer, in an effort to fulfill their father’s wish, Thomas Brown and Christina Snipes, in collaboration with their Uncle Arthur, have accomplished that which Charles could not. The Brown Family placed a conservation easement on their 250 acre family farm in Western Rowan County. This easement will insure the protection of their beautiful farmland and natural habitat along Third Creek.

The property protected by the Brown Family is distinguished by rolling hills, large pastures, an extended forest, scenic bluffs, and a stand out of Young’s Mountain. It also boasts significant frontage along third Creek, a major tributary of the South Yadkin. Andy Abramson, Director of Land Protection with LandTrust for Central NC noted, “the Brown’s donation to conservation is quite remarkable. Not only have they eliminated a tremendous tract of land from developmental consideration, but they have also acted as a wonderful role model for their neighbors.” With the Browns as the catalyst, two other landowners (including family members) in the immediate vicinity are considering making the same commitments on their land. If these landowners follow suit as expected, it will result in almost 350 acres receiving permanent protection, which would constitute the largest permanently protected tract in western Rowan County.