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Three Rivers Land Trust starts off 2022 by conserving 67 acres in Montgomery County

Three Rivers Land Trust starts off 2022 by conserving 67 acres in Montgomery County

Conserving local lands is the mission of Three Rivers Land Trust, and sometimes this mission is achieved through sentimental intentions. Discovering the Land Trust from a newspaper article, Robert Kinch became inspired to help carry out Three Rivers’ mission by leaving a conservation legacy of 67 acres in memory of his wife, Virgie Coggin Kinch.

Closing on January 6th, this is the first completed project by TRLT this year. The 67 acres donated by Mr. Kinch are located in Montgomery County, and maintains 3,000 linear feet of frontage on Clarks Creek. The property is two and a half miles upstream from the confluence of the Pee Dee River. The 67 acres contains a mature hardwood forest with a very diverse understory, with lots of native wildflowers and forbs.

“This is the first project closing of 2022, and we couldn’t be happier. We [TRLT] could not think of a better way to start off the year,” commented TRLT Executive Director, Travis Morehead. “We finished off 2021 strong, conserving over 4,200 acres last year alone. Thanks to Mr. Kinch, we can celebrate another conservation project closing early in 2022.”

“We are so pleased to be able to conserve this special property, protecting the diverse plant species in its forest understory,” stated Crystal Cockman, TRLT Associate Director. “This donated property means so much to Mr. Kinch, and now it will be protected in perpetuity in memory of his late wife, Virgie, for future generations to enjoy.”

This property was donated by Robert Kinch in memory of his wife Virgie Coggin Kinch and transactional costs of this project were generously funded through a NC Land and Water Fund Mini Grant.

Photos were taken by Justin Mercer, Eastern Region Field Representative with the NC Land and Water Fund.

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in our conservation mission, please contact Crystal Cockman, Associate Director of Three Rivers Land Trust at 704-64 7-0302 or crystal@trlt.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust conserves 92 acres on Panther Branch, protecting the complete water source

On December 22nd, Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) closed a 92 acre project in Montgomery County – one that will help protect the high water quality designation along Barnes Creek and Panther Branch. Both tributaries are designated as outstanding water sources, which is the highest water quality designation that the state of North Carolina gives any stream.

This property is exceptional because of the water frontage, rare species, being in viewshed of the Uwharrie Trail and almost completely surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land. Knowing this, the previous owner (Jordan Lumber Company) came to Three Rivers Land Trust and offered TRLT a unique opportunity to purchase the property.

“This property is definitely a special one,” stated Crystal Cockman, TRLT Associate Director. “We are elated that the previous owner approached us with their interest in ensuring this property’s protection. This is the only private land on the entirety of Panther Branch, and now that it is conserved, we are protecting this water resource in its entirety.”

“Mussels are indicator species, which means they are used to determine the water quality in an area,” said Emily Callicutt, TRLT Land Protection Specialist. Callicutt described that “there are numerous species of rare mussel found in this stream, including a species previously believed to be extinct, the Carolina elktoe. The presence of rare mussels, like the Carolina elktoe, show the pristine water quality of this area because the mussels cannot exist in areas with poor water quality.”

“We are extremely proud of conserving this property, especially with its proximity to the Uwharrie Trail,” commented TRLT Executive Director Travis Morehead. “We [TRLT] have the long term plan of adding this property to the public trust. At Three Rivers, it is part of our mission to provide access for public recreation, and this project will do just that.”

This project was made possible in part by funding from Fred and Alice Stanback, and Jack Horan, along with other private donations from Land Trust supporters.

To learn more ab out how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in our conservation mission, please contact Crystal Cockman, Associate Director of Three Rivers Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust receives $30,000 grant from SC Johnson

With a recent refocus on conserving farmland, Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) created the Save the Farm Campaign to help permanently conserve local farms that are facing increased development pressure. Regardless of who you are or where you live, everyone is connected to a farm. SC Johnson also recognized the need to protect farmland, and recently donated $30,000 to TRLT with the goal of permanently conserving more local farms.

In 2021, Three Rivers conserved over 1,300 acres of farmland in their fifteen-county region, and plans to conserve additional farmland in 2022. The funding provided by SC Johnson will be a substantial springboard to help TRLT work towards conserving more farmland that will not only maintain the rural character of our region but also provide for the area’s food and fiber needs.

“We consistently have farmers call us very interested in the permanent conservation of their farms. Farmers are the very first to realize the impact growth and development are having on our region.” stated Executive Director Travis Morehead. “We established the Save the Farm Campaign to help permanently conserve local farms, and SC Johnson generously chose to support us in our efforts. Their generous donation will make an immediate difference in our ability to conserve local farms. We hope that other businesses will follow SC Johnson’s example and join TRLT in our mission to protect our region’s farms.”

If you are interested in learning more about Three Rivers Land Trust, or how to support TRLT’s local conservation efforts, please visit trlt.org.

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in our conservation mission, please contact Crystal Cockman, Associate Director of Three Rivers Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or crystal@trlt.org.

 

Three Rivers Land Trust hires Conservation Lands Manager and names new Associate Director

December 7, 2021

Conserving almost 45,000 acres in North Carolina’s Piedmont and Sandhills is no simple task, but with a capable staff, Three Rivers Land Trust has made it possible. Recently, Katie Stovall was hired as the Conservation Lands Manager for Three Rivers Land Trust. In addition to Stovall’s hiring, Crystal Cockman, previously the Director of Conservation, has been named the Associate Director at TRLT. “We are truly excited about the addition of Katie to our staff, she is going to be a great asset to the Land Trust,” stated Executive Director Travis Morehead. “With Crystal’s experience at the Land Trust, it was fitting to shift her role to Associate Director. We are thankful to have Crystal continue to represent Three Rivers and act as a resource in our conservation work.”

Katie Stovall was hired in November and received her master’s degree in Wildlife Science from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s in Natural Resource Conservation and Management with a concentration in forestry from Western Carolina University. Stovall comes to TRLT with prior experience of working for the N.C. Forest Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority where she provided land management information and technical support to forest landowners and wildlife managers. Katie’s interest and expertise is in prescribed fire, applied habitat management, sound forest management, and blending wildlife and forestry objectives. Katie’s work extends into her free time, as she enjoys sharing the conservation ethic with others, especially kids, and promoting the wonderful natural resources that our state offers. “I am excited to join the TRLT team and share my knowledge and expertise of natural resource conservation with the staff and landowners of NC. I care deeply for our state’s natural resources and earnestly work to conserve them by prescribing and implementing sound land management to promote both game and nongame wildlife species,” stated Stovall.

In addition to Stovall’s hire, TRLT has made another staffing change in naming Crystal Cockman as the Associate Director. Previously the Director of Conservation, Cockman commented that “Three Rivers Land Trust’s mission is one that is, and has always been, close to my heart. I am happy to continue to carry out the mission as the Associate Director.” Working for Three Rivers Land Trust, previously the Land Trust for Central NC, for 15 years, Cockman is an essential employee to the Land Trust, and will continue to be one as the Associate Director.

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in our conservation mission, please contact Crystal Cockman, Associate Director of the Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org.

State Trust Funds Award Three Rivers Land Trust $9.7 Million to Protect 5,381 Acres

State Trust Funds Award Three Rivers Land Trust $9.7 Million to Protect 5,381 Acres

Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) is excited to announce recent funding in the amount of $9,755,298 to protect 5,381 acres of natural areas and family farms across their 15-county footprint. Funding was awarded to TRLT by the North Carolina Land and Water Fund (NCLWF) and the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF). This was a record increase in funding from previous years thanks to the generous allocation from the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Cooper.

Through the North Carolina Land and Water Fund (NCLWF), administered by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, $6,449,917 has been awarded to TRLT to protect 11 properties, totaling 2,701 acres. The NCLWF properties will protect vital natural areas on High Rock Lake in Davidson County, Drowning Creek and the Deep River in Moore County, the Little River and Barnes Creek in Montgomery County, the Rocky River in Cabarrus County, and one tract in Stanly County.

Additionally, $3,305,381 has been awarded to protect 8 family farms in TRLT’s footprint, totaling 2,682 acres, through the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF), administered by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. The ADFPTF properties will protect local family farms in Cabarrus, Stanly, Iredell, Davidson, and Davie Counties. These farms primarily produce beef cattle and row crops. Several of these farms are part of larger phased projects with an opportunity to protect even more acreage with these landowners in the future. This farmland funding is one piece of the puzzle, as the ADFPTF pays for a percentage of the conservation easement purchase and TRLT will be applying to the USDA for the remaining funds needed to complete these projects early next year.

“This is a landmark year for conservation in North Carolina,” stated Executive Director Travis Morehead. “We submitted our best projects for consideration. Thanks to a generous allocation by the Governor and General Assembly, both the NCLWF and ADFPTF were able to fund these important local conservation projects.”

“Three Rivers Land Trust is thrilled to have been awarded these funds. This funding will make it possible to work with great landowners to protect these special natural areas and family farms across our region,” stated Associate Director Crystal Cockman. “Many of these projects have been on our radar for a number of years, and thankfully this year the funds are there to assist with the protection of all these incredible lands.”

This grant money goes directly into the acquisition of these properties and easements, which will protect them in perpetuity. Operational and administrative expenses are funded by donations from members of TRLT. For every dollar donated towards operational funding, TRLT staff has been able to leverage $13 into local project funds.

This year, Three Rivers has refocused efforts on local farmland conservation through the creation of the Farmland Fund, partially funded by their current year-end campaign, “Save the Farm”. To support Three Rivers Land Trust’s local conservation efforts, please visit trlt.org.

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in our conservation mission, please contact Crystal Cockman, Associate Director of Three Rivers Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust conserves inholding in Uwharrie National Forest

November 19, 2021

Three Rivers Land Trust has a commitment to public access and with their most recent project, there will be 8.08 more acres available to the public. Located in Montgomery County, this property will become part of the Badin Lake Recreation Area when the property is transferred to the Unites States Forest Service (USFS).

The Uwharrie National Forest is one of the smallest, most fragmented, and newest national forests in the country. In fact, the amount of land available to the public within its proclamation boundary is only 24%. Three Rivers Land Trust is committed to making strategic connections and filling inholdings to make this a more user friendly and publicly accessible forest.

Three Rivers has transferred over 8,000 acres to the public for recreation, and this project acreage will proudly be added to that total. This project is unique, as the Wolf Den Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail runs through it, which is part of the 17 miles of 4-wheel drive trails in the Badin Lake OHV Trail complex in the Uwharrie National Forest. “With this section being known as an easier portion the trail system, it is a great starting point and is often a family’s first introduction to the Uwharrie National Forest,” stated Chris Cagle, owner of Eldorado Outpost. “Recreation use for the Wolf Den area of the forest continues to build, and being able to open and encourage use into multiple areas of the Uwharries allows a greater user experience for all,” commented Cagle.

Three Rivers Land Trust Associate Director, Crystal Cockman, was elated with the conservation of the 8 acres. “Projects like these take an extended period of time, but are well worth it. Providing both locals and visitors of the Uwharries with plenty of space to recreate is a goal of ours and this project helps us achieve just that,” stated Cockman.

“At Three Rivers Land Trust, we have an emphasis on public access,” stated TRLT Executive Director Travis Morehead. “With the eventual transfer of this property to the US Forest Service, there will be an additional 8 acres for the public to enjoy. Any time spent outdoors enjoying our natural landscapes is valuable. Whether that is hiking or off-roading, we are thrilled to get people outdoors and help provide the spaces for it.”

To learn more about how to protect your own property, contact Crystal Cockman, TRLT Associate Director, at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org.

To become a member and support TRLT in their conservation mission, please contact Nicky Black, Membership and Events Coordinator, at 704-647-0302 or nicky@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust announces the conservation of 215 Acres adjacent to Morrow Mountain State Park

November 12, 2021

Only a half-mile away from the Hardaway Site, a National Historic Landmark known for its Native American archeological significance, and adjacent to Morrow Mountain State Park in Badin, NC are 215 acres of unique forest and rare plant species, now permanently conserved by Three Rivers Land Trust.

From an environmental perspective, this conservation project is extremely valuable, as the forested stream buffers on the tributary help protect water quality. In addition to the protection of one of the best populations of ringed witch grass in North Carolina, a state rare plant, this project will also be advantageous to many other species.

Three Rivers Land Trust Associate Director, Crystal Cockman, was elated with the conservation of the 215 acres. “This project has been one that Three Rivers has wanted to check off of our list for a while. With the help of generous donors, we were able to successfully protect this unique natural area and we could not be more pleased,” stated Cockman.

“At Three Rivers Land Trust, we know how vital it is to conserve important properties just like this one. This parcel protects both natural and historic resources,” stated TRLT Executive Director Travis Morehead. “Our hope is to transfer this site to Morrow Mountain State Park so that others will get to enjoy this beautiful property.”

This conservation project was generously funded in part by the North Carolina Native Plant Society (ncwildflower.org), the Carolina Bird Club, Duke Energy and Fred and Alice Stanback.

To learn more about how to protect your own property, contact Crystal Cockman, TRLT Associate Director, at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org.

To become a member and support TRLT in their conservation mission, please contact Nicky Black, Membership and Events Coordinator, at 704-647-0302 or nicky@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust Conserves Two Properties in Two Counties

October 20, 2021

Earlier in the year, an anonymous donor approached Three Rivers Land Trust seeking to conserve two different properties in Montgomery and Randolph Counties, totaling 149 acres, each with unique characteristics. Despite the differing features that each property holds, they now have one major quality in common: on October 13, 2021, both properties were conserved by Three Rivers Land Trust.

In Montgomery County, the 88 acres of land has over ¾ of a mile of river frontage on the Little River. Found in this stretch of river are Eastern Creekshell and Eastern Lampmussels, two rare species of mussels. Also on this property is a mature hardwood forest with a diverse understory featuring black cohosh and wild comfrey, both of which produce beautiful blooms.

The land owner worked with Three Rivers Land Trust to conserve an additional 61 acres in Randolph County. Covered in mature hardwoods with rocky outcrops, this property has a unique find- an occurrence of Oneflower Bedstraw (Gallium uniflorum). Oneflower Bedstraw is rare in this region, in fact, it is the only occurrence in Randolph County of that particular- making it a county record.

TRLT Associate Director, Crystal Cockman reflected that, “We are so happy that the anonymous donor approached us with the same goals as our organization: to conserve land for future generations. These properties are important to conserve because of their ecological value due to the rare species on the properties and unique natural communities.”

“Our mission at TRLT is to protect and conserve land in the Piedmont and Sandhills, and being able to conserve these properties in Montgomery and Randolph Counties helps us achieve just that. We are so grateful to work with the anonymous donor who wanted to conserve these lands for perpetuity,” stated Travis Morehead, Executive Director of TRLT.

These conservation projects were made possible in part by a contribution from Fred and Alice Stanback.

To learn more about how to conserve your own property, contact Crystal Cockman, Associate Director, at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org.

To become a member and support TRLT in their conservation mission, please contact Nicky Black, Membership and Events Coordinator, at 704-647-0302 or nicky@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust Conserves 30 acres of Piedmont Monadnock Forest

October 13, 2021

Just five minutes from downtown Asheboro resides a unique landscape, one with large exposed rocks scattered through a mature hardwood forest. With frontage on Cedar Fork Creek, all 30 acres of the property are a sight to take in. Fortunately, Three Rivers Land Trust was able to conserve this property on October 13, 2021, with the intent of eventually transferring the property to the City of Asheboro to be used as a passive park.

“We are elated about the closing of this project,” said TRLT Associate Director Crystal Cockman. “All 30 acres of this property are unique to the region, it is not often that you find a Piedmont Monadnock Forest. The exposed rock on this property is extraordinary to say the least.”

“This particular property is extremely important to a growing city like Asheboro,” stated Travis Morehead, Executive Director of TRLT. “TRLT is excited about the possibility of working with city staff and elected officials to make this property available for public recreation. Providing recreational access is a core tenant of who we are as an organization.”

Since its inception in 1996, Three Rivers Land Trust has transferred over 7,500 acres of land to the public trust, including 2,424 acres from the recent conservation project on the Yadkin River/ Tuckertown Reservoir. TRLT’s commitment to public access remains an important pillar in their mission as they continue to transfer lands to local, state, and national government agencies.

This conservation project was made possible in part by a contribution from Fred and Alice Stanback.

 

To learn more about how to conserve your own property, contact Crystal Cockman, Associate Director, at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org.

To become a member and support TRLT in their conservation mission, please contact Nicky Black, Membership and Events Coordinator, at 704-647-0302 or nicky@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust conserves 84 acres of hardwoods on the Uwharrie River in Randolph County

September 29, 2021

Alongside the Uwharrie River lies 84 acres of mature hardwood forest, all of which are now conserved by Three Rivers Land Trust. With almost ¾ of a mile of frontage along the Uwharrie River, a high-quality watershed, this property is full of scenic views and even has rare mussels on site. The section of the Uwharrie River that the Cranford property is located along is a popular stretch of water for paddlers, as there are rapids and rocky outcrops that are fun to navigate. Fishermen also utilize this section of river, as it is well known as a great place for catching smallmouth bass.

This property is located on Lou Cranford Road, a longtime family-owned area. Linda, David, and Christi Cranford wanted to ensure that the property would be around for future generations to enjoy, which is why they went to Three Rivers Land Trust. Christi Cranford remarked, “It has been a pleasure working with Three Rivers and I am happy that I can put the land in conservancy so it can be around for generations to come.”

“We are elated to be able to conserve this property with the Cranford family,” stated Director of Conservation Crystal Cockman. “This conservation easement is also located near another 202 acres of property conserved by TRLT.  Protecting the Uwharrie River and providing public access to it has been a long-term focus of our organization. We have worked hard to conserve land in the Uwharries, one of the most biodiverse areas left in the Piedmont.”

“Permanently protecting almost ¾ of a mile of stream frontage on the Uwharrie River is a fantastic accomplishment.  This was able to be accomplished because of generous, conservation-minded landowners,” said TRLT Executive Director Travis Morehead. “We are so glad to have worked with the Cranford family to conserve this property’s amazing hardwood forest and help the Cranford’s achieve their conservation goals.”

Special thanks to Fred and Alice Stanback, who contributed funding towards making this project possible.

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.

To become a member and support TRLT in their conservation mission, please contact Nicky Black, Membership and Events Coordinator, at 704-647-0302 or nicky@threeriverslandtrust.org.

About Three Rivers Land Trust 

Three Rivers Land Trust works with private landowners and public agencies to conserve the most important natural, scenic, agricultural, and historic places in a 15-county region of the Piedmont and Sandhills of North Carolina. Since 1995, the Land Trust has worked to offer reasonable and attractive options to landowners who want to conserve their lands for future generations to enjoy. Our mission is to work thoughtfully and selectively with property owners to conserve our lands, vistas, and the essential nature of our region. For more information about Three Rivers Land Trust, please contact the Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or addie@threeriverslandtrust.org or visit their website at www.threeriverslandtrust.org

Contact

Phone

(704) 647-0302

Address

204 East Innes Street, Suite 120
Salisbury, NC 28144

Email

threerivers@threeriverslandtrust.org