News

 

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

Three Rivers Land Trust Conserves 40 acres of Wetlands and Hardwoods in Moore County

October 8, 2021

In the small town of Whispering Pines rests 40 acres on a small lake, painting a picturesque scene. Hardwoods stand tall in contrast with the glassy lake that they surround, and will continue to do so, forever. On September 30, 2021, Three Rivers Land Trust was able to conserve this property in a forever wild easement, protecting the mature hardwood forest and the water quality of the property.

Colin Webster and his wife Emiliana wanted to conserve this property in order to ensure that future generations would also get to take in its beauty. While standing at the property overlooking the lake, Colin reflected that “We have always seen the benefits of conservation for the purpose of protecting the quality of the water and the animal life that use this property as a passageway. Three Rivers has been absolutely fantastic to work with, we are delighted to have been able to make this work.”

“This conservation easement is especially important to the local community,” stated Director of Conservation Crystal Cockman. “Conserving these 40 acres is will help to protect the water quality of not only the lake, but the wetlands complex on the property as well. By protecting this property through a forever wild conservation easement, we can ensure that the area remains as natural as possible.”

“We are extremely pleased to have worked with the Websters to conserve these 40 acres in Whispering Pines. Moore County is growing at a rapid pace, and we want to ensure that local conservation is also a part of that growth scenario,” said TRLT Executive Director Travis Morehead. “It is TRLT’s mission to help people like the Websters in achieving their conservation goals. Conservation is more important now than ever before, and this project is another stepping stone in the right direction.”

This conservation easement was generously donated by the Websters, with transactional costs paid for by a grant from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund.

To learn more about how to protect your own property, contact Crystal Cockman, Director of Conservation, 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.

Permanent Protection for Alcoa lands at Tuckertown

RALEIGH, N.C. (September 13, 2021) – In the Piedmont of North Carolina lies Tuckertown Reservoir, an impoundment of the Yadkin River known for its recreational opportunities and as a vital water resource for North Carolinians. Adjacent to Tuckertown are the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Alcoa Game Lands. Nearly 80% of North Carolina’s population reside within 100 miles of these game lands. The Wildlife Commission, Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) and The Conservation Fund have worked diligently with many conservation partners to permanently conserve these game lands for future generations. On September 13, 2021, the Wildlife Commission announced their purchase of 2,424 acres, including 31 miles of shoreline along the eastern shore of the Tuckertown Reservoir in Davidson and Montgomery counties. With the completion of this acquisition, the Wildlife Commission also announced the formal name change of these lands to the Yadkin River Game Land, to reflect the vicinity of the game land to the Yadkin River.

The purchase of the lands is imperative to protecting the local water quality of the many communities that utilize Tuckertown as a water supply. The water that flows into and out of the Tuckertown Reservoir is a part of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River. The Yadkin-Pee Dee River, one of North Carolina’s longest rivers, provides 1.7 million people water every day.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment and we are thankful to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program, the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, Three Rivers Land Trust, The Conservation Fund and all of our funding partners who realized the importance of this acquisition and worked so diligently to make it happen. These lands have over a 30-year history of providing the public opportunities for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-associated recreation in the Piedmont,” stated Cameron Ingram, executive director of the Wildlife Commission. “Conserving these lands for public access, water quality and wildlife habitat perfectly aligns with our agency’s mission to protect our state’s natural resources.”

This announcement comes nearly a year after the transfer of nearly 1,000 acres further downstream to Morrow Mountain State Park as part of the same Relicensing Settlement Agreement. Together, these lands total nearly 3,500 acres of newly protected land.

“The chance to protect water quality and provide outdoor recreation opportunities at this scale does not come along often,” said Jeff Michael, deputy secretary for Natural Resources at the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, which includes the North Carolina Land and Water Fund (NCLWF). “This represents an extraordinary chapter in the history of conservation in the Yadkin-Pee Dee River basin. I applaud our partners for their bold vision, and on behalf of the NCLWF board and staff, we are proud to provide funding to help make this happen.”

The clock began ticking in 2019 to raise the $8.5 million needed to acquire the property for perpetual conservation. Three Rivers Land Trust and The Conservation Fund worked with the Wildlife Commission to lead the private fundraising effort to ensure these lands remained protected and publicly accessible. This collaborative project brought federal, state, non-profit, family foundation partners and general private donors together, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program, N.C. Land and Water Fund, Mr. Rednecheck, Brad Stanback, Jim Cogdell, Ducks Unlimited, Environmental Enhancement Grants Program, Cannon Foundation, Louis Eubanks, F&M Bank, Carolina Bird Club and many other generous private donors.

“The entire 2,400-acre Tuckertown land purchase is a very important addition to our state game lands,” said Mike Leonard, representative at The Conservation Fund. “We were particularly interested in the Bald Mountain portion of the property, a hardwood covered Piedmont monadnock mountain steeply rising 300 feet above the reservoir and Yadkin River. We’re already working with the State on a plan to build a two-mile hiking trail to the top of Bald Mountain where hikers can walk through the large hardwoods and see stunning views of the lake and the Uwharrie Mountains.”

“Completing this project was a monumental goal of Three Rivers Land Trust since our inception in 1995,” stated Travis Morehead, executive director of Three Rivers Land Trust. “We are incredibly proud to have worked with the Wildlife Commission and all of our funding partners to ensure the permanent conservation of these lands and the public’s ability to utilize them. One of our main tenants within our strategic plan is to connect people to the outdoors and we are proud to say that North Carolinians will have access to these lands for generations to come.”
This purchase took place pursuant to the 2007 Yadkin River Relicensing Settlement Agreement in which Alcoa offered the State of North Carolina and/or Three Rivers Land Trust (formerly The Land Trust for Central North Carolina) the opportunity to purchase these lands for conservation purposes. In September 2019, Phase I of the Alcoa Lands Project was completed. Phase I conserved 2,463 acres and 45 miles of shoreline along High Rock Lake. Now with the closure of Phase II Tuckertown, this project has conserved over 4,800 acres and 76 miles of shoreline along the Yadkin-Pee Dee.

About the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. Purchase or a renew a fishing, trapping and hunting license and renew a vessel registration online at ncwildlife.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 michael@threeriverslandtrust.org or visit their website at www.threeriverslandtrust.org.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than eight million acres of land, including more than 236,000 acres of beloved natural lands across North Carolina. www.conservationfund.org

Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest and Nature Preserve to almost double in size

July 26, 2021

In 2011, Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT), then known as The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, was presented with the opportunity to conserve 42 acres of pristine beech and oak-hickory forest tucked in within the small town of Spencer. This hidden gem protected biodiversity and wildlife habitat, but more importantly it provided a much-needed green space in an urban environment. At the time, this natural scene was contrasted by the bulldozers on site, ready to take down the forest- but the land trust saw an opportunity to connect people to the land, no matter where they were located, and worked diligently to conserve the land from development.

Flashing forward to July 2021, TRLT is excited to announce the permanent conservation of an additional 32 acres of hardwood forest that is planned to be added to the Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest and Nature Preserve, formerly known as “Spencer Woods.” Already providing the Town of Spencer with 2.5 miles of trails, the added acreage will offer even more recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy. This addition will connect the park to Grants Creek, and the hardwoods on this property will provide wildlife habitat within the urban setting- benefiting a variety of species.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to work with the Wallace family in order to conserve the land adjacent to Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest and Nature Preserve.  We are so grateful for their [Wallace’s] willingness to donate a substantial portion of the property’s value to make this project happen,” stated Director of Conservation Crystal Cockman. “Conserving land is important everywhere, but it is especially important in urban regions. This project will provide wildlife habitat in an area where natural areas are sparser, as well as providing people in the region with a space for recreational activities like hiking and birding. “We are so happy to be a part of this project,” exclaimed Leo Wallace of Wallace Realty. “This project will provide members of our community even more space to get outdoors and enjoy what we have right in our own backyard.”

To finalize the preserve’s expansion, TRLT will be donating 13 additional acres along Grant’s Creek. This will nearly double the size of the nature preserve. Travis Morehead, Executive Director of Three Rivers Land Trust, expressed that “Our organization has a long history of adding land into the public trust.  We’ve worked to expand recreational opportunities in the form of local parks, state parks, game lands, and national forests. It is a core tenant of who we are as a conservation organization and that legacy continues to grow with this project.”

Three Rivers Land Trust remains committed to conserving these landscapes in the Piedmont and Sandhills. This purchase was made possible by the donation from the Duke Nature Grant, the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, and a bargain sale made possible by the Wallace Family.

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

To become a member and support TRLT in their conservation mission, please contact Michael Fulk, Associate Director, at 704-647-0302 or michael@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust conserves 100 acres of farmland in Cumberland County

July 9, 2021

 Three Rivers Land Trust is excited to announce the permanent conservation of 100 acres located in Cumberland county. This property, known as Big Creek Bottomlands, is working farm and forestland located approximately ½ mile from the South River. Running through this unique property is Big Creek, the namesake of this conservation project. While there are small grain fields in the uplands of the Big Creek Bottomlands, there are also wetlands around the tributary.

“Big Creek Bottomlands is in a region further outside of our usual work area,” expressed Land Protection Specialist Emily Callicutt, “and this project expands our conservation footprint. We want to make a difference and Big Creek Bottomlands is an excellent way to stretch our reach of impact.”

“We are really excited about the completion of this project,” stated Crystal Cockman, Director of Conservation. “Our mission at Three Rivers Land Trust is to conserve land for future generations, and this property is a perfect example of just that. Unique properties like Big Creek Bottomlands are quintessential to maintaining biodiversity in our region.”

The primary purpose of the conservation easement is to protect woodlands, wetlands, agriculture, and to protect the land from permanent development. This permanent conservation easement was made possible through a generous donation from the landowner to Three Rivers Land Trust.

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 Michael Fulk, Associate Director, at 704-647-0302 or michael@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Three Rivers Land Trust conserves 250 acres of farmland in Davie County

June 24, 2021

Three Rivers Land Trust is excited to announce the permanent conservation of 250 acres of land located in Davie County. The farm, owned by Sam and Blair Howard, is in small grain production. This conservation easement is just the beginning of the legacy that Sam and Blair Howard want to leave, as they plan to conserve more property in the future. When reflecting on this project, Sam expressed, “I am most excited about the preservation of farmland for future generations. Three Rivers Land Trust was excellent to work with. They were super responsive and I wouldn’t have been able to navigate this process without their help.”

This particular property has frontage on both Highway 64 and Godby Road, which is near Mocksville, NC. The easement area buffers Hunting Creek for 0.6 miles, a WS-III Class stream that is a tributary of the Yadkin River. This easement is just one of the eight projected farmland conservation easements planned for Three Rivers Land Trust this year alone. “We are excited to have worked with Sam and Blair on this conservation easement in Davie County, one of the counties we serve that hasn’t had much farmland conservation, but is facing development pressures from every side,” TRLT Director of Conservation Crystal Cockman remarked. “Saving farmland in this county while we still can is an important goal of ours.”

This conservation easement aids Three Rivers Land Trust in their mission to conserve farmland for future generations. “Conservation comes in different forms,” remarked Executive Director Travis Morehead. “We [TRLT] have a particular focus on conserving farmland. Agriculture is the foundation of our society, so each acre of farmland conserved is important for future food and fiber production.”

The primary purpose of the conservation easement is to protect the land from permanent development and to allow for continued agricultural uses. Three Rivers Land Trust has conserved over 16,000 acres of local farms in our 15-county footprint. This conservation easement was made possible by funding from the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.

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

To become a member and support TRLT in their conservation mission, please contact Michael Fulk, Associate Director, at 704-647-0302 or michael@threeriverslandtrust.org.

Contact

Phone

(704) 647-0302

Address

204 East Innes Street, Suite 120
Salisbury, NC 28144

Email

threerivers@threeriverslandtrust.org