A section of the beautiful rolling farmland and hardwood forest in northwestern Rowan County was permanently conserved in December thanks to a conservation easement donation by Carla and Eric Pence. Eric, a full-time farmer, and Carla, a physician practicing in Statesville, donated a permanent conservation easement on a 126-acre tract near Chenault Road just north of Cleveland. Aside from protecting a scenic viewshed, the donation also protects prime agricultural soils; wildlife habitat for turkey, deer, and other small game; and over 2,200 feet of vegetated frontage along a perennial tributary to Fourth Creek.

“We are extremely excited to work with the Pences on the conservation of a portion of their farm,” said Andrew Waters, The LandTrust’s Operations Director who worked with the family on their conservation easement donation. “In addition to the conservation values of the tract itself, this easement donation was made in a part of Rowan County where there are several other conserved properties, making it an important and emerging project area for The LandTrust.” Other conservation properties nearby in northwestern Rowan County include the 248-acre Brown Farm conservation easement, the 35-acre Berger Third Creek tract, and the Adams Farm project, now totaling almost 831 acres.