News

 

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.

Three Rivers Land Trust Recognizes Four New Board Members

June 29, 2021

Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) is honored to announce the addition of four new board members to the TRLT Board of Directors. The new members were added to the board on Friday, June 11 during the regular Board of Directors Meeting. New board members include Karen Auman of Randolph County, John Bartlett of Harnett County, West Hunter of Iredell County, and Frances Willis of Scotland County.

Karen Auman is a native of North Carolina, and has lived all across the state from the Outer Banks to the mountains where she served in regional, county and state positions with concentrations in tourism and emergency operations. Karen has both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNC-Greensboro. Before retiring from a 38-year career in public service, Karen was the Guest Services Director and Safety Director at the NC Zoological Park. Karen is enjoying her retirement gardening, hiking, and kayaking with her husband Ken and dog Bo. They all reside on “family” land in Montgomery County.

John Bartlett, better known by his students as Dr. Bartlett is a professor in wildlife ecology at Campbell University. Dr. Bartlett received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, and his Doctorate from the University of Maine. Residing with his wife Mary Jane, the two of them enjoy spending time outdoors. As an Ornithologist, his research has touched on land cover changes and how it relates to bird species abundance. In addition, Dr. Bartlett initiated the first TRLT college chapter in 2021.

Returning to the Board of Directors is West Hunter. Graduating from North Carolina State University, West has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Government. West and his family live in Mooresville, NC. West is the owner of Hunter Construction Group as well as Hunting Creek Farms, a wedding and event venue that he operates with wife Kisten.

The final board member to join the TRLT Board of Directors is Frances Willis. Frances has lived in Scotland, Robeson, and Moore County, and has a history in land management. For the past 57 years, Frances has played a role in family land management decisions, contributing to her passion for land conservation. Frances and her husband Jim operate three businesses in the heart of Downtown Laurinburg, including a bed and breakfast, and have three kids and an AussieDoodle puppy. In her free time, Frances enjoys gardening, cooking, fly fishing and roots music.

In addition to bringing on new board members, two outgoing board members were recognized on Friday at the Board of Directors meeting. John Broadwell of Cumberland County and Vince Zucchino of Moore County both joined the Board of Directors in June of 2019 when TRLT merged with Sandhills Area Land Trust. TRLT is extremely thankful for their unwavering support of local conservation and the Land Trust.

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 Expanding Deep River Conservation Efforts

Three Rivers Land Trust is seeking to expand conservation efforts along the Deep River in Northern Moore County. The Deep River has long been a focal area of conservation efforts for Three Rivers Land Trust, having conserved more than 2,000 acres along the river.

As a native of Montgomery County, Emily Callicutt, Land Protection Specialist, is passionate about seeing land in the region protected.  “Seeing the lands that I was able to enjoy growing up conserved for future generations has always been a personal goal of mine,” Emily remarked.  “I hope that by working to conserve lands along the Deep River that the scenic views will be maintained for the enjoyment of paddlers and boaters while protecting the water quality of the region and rare species found within it.”

The most recent conservation project on the Deep River took place in March of 2020, permanently protecting an 89-acre property along the river through a conservation easement. Speaking about the project, Crystal Cockman, Director of Conservation and a Moore County native, stated “This section of the Deep River is particularly important from a water quality and a recreation perspective, and we are glad to see another property here permanently protected.” “The Deep River is a high-quality watershed with several rare aquatic species found in the stream,” expressed Crystal. “By conserving this property, we are protecting important wildlife habitat in the increasingly-fragmented Sandhills region.”

There is conservation funding available to potentially purchase conservation easements along the Deep River. “The primary purpose of easements along the river will be to permanently protect the natural resources that the Deep River provides,” stated Emily Callicutt.  Conservation easements are legal documents that permanently protect a property from development while allowing a landowner to continue to live, use, and pass the land on to heirs.

Property owners with an interest in conservation are invited to contact Emily Callicutt, Land Protection Specialist, at 910-220-0402 or emily@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.

Group Holds Event Celebrating Kayaker’s Return to the Water

June 16, 2021

On June 5, 2021, representatives from Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT), River Daisy Outdoor Company, LLC, Stanly County Sheriff Department, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), and TRLT paddle participant Robert “Bob” Hanley returned to Falls Reservoir with kayaker Russ Kraus to celebrate his return to the water. This is the first time Kraus has kayaked since he suffered a medical emergency while paddling on March 13, 2021 during a TRLT kayaking event.

On March 13th, over 40 paddlers gathered at Falls Reservoir to participate in TRLT’s inaugural Paddle Club event. After a detailed safety briefing from Travis Morehead, TRLT Executive Director and Officer NCWRC Officer David Ritzheimer, NCWRC Wildlife Officer, participants began the 2-mile paddle to view the historic Narrows Dam and then return to the launch site.

On the trip back, participant Bob Hanley heard cries for help from the shore. Both he and Travis Morehead, TRLT Executive Director began to paddle towards the bystanders on shore who were signaling for their assistance. As they got closer, they realized a kayak was overturned and the paddler was not in view. Bob Hanley jumped in the water and began to upright the kayak and bring the kayaker, identified as Russ Kraus, to the surface. “As I pulled him up [Kraus] and headed back towards my kayak, I turned and there was the John Boat” recalled Hanley. “Just to be a part of this rescue effort was truly, truly amazing.”

NCWRC Officer David Ritzheimer and Stanly County Sheriff’s Deputy Darnell Almond were attending the kayaking event and also heard the distress calls. They immediately headed to the scene and were able to pull Kraus onto the patrol boat. Ritzheimer recounts the moment they reached Kraus. “We were able to reach the participant and pull him onto the deck of the boat. Unfortunately, Mr. Kraus did not have a pulse and he was not breathing. We immediately began CPR, radioed for emergency responders, and headed back to the launch. Once we returned he began breathing, had a strong pulse, and around a minute and a half later the ambulance arrived.”

“Mr. Kraus suffered a medical emergency as he was paddling.  That emergency is believed to have been caused by a previous injury, which caused Russ to lose consciousness and slip into the water.  The rescue efforts of Bob Hanley, Officer Ritzheimer, and Deputy Almond are what made this story have a positive outcome” states Travis Morehead, Executive Director of Three Rivers Land Trust.

During the reunion celebration, Kraus and other participants returned to the water to once again kayak Falls Reservoir. As a lifelong kayaker, Kraus will continue to enjoy the region’s waters safely.

If you are looking for a way to connect to the outdoors, consider joining one of Three Rivers Land Trust’s interest groups. Whether you like to paddle, hike, shoot archery, or enjoy birding, TRLT has you covered! For more information about TRLT interest groups, go to https://threeriverslandtrust.org/interest-groups or https://www.facebook.com/3riverslandtrustto learn more.

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 195 acres of farmland in Randolph County

 

June 9, 2021

Three Rivers Land Trust is excited to announce the permanent conservation of 195 acres of farmland located in Randolph County. The beef cattle farm is located along NC Scenic Byway Hwy 49 near the community of Farmer. This conservation easement is the second project Three Rivers Land Trust completed in partnership with the Randolph Soil and Water Conservation District.

Randy Freeman, Soil and Water Engineer for Randolph County stated, “We were happy to work with Three Rivers Land Trust again on this new farm conservation easement. Randolph Soil and Water will continue to help our local farmers and community anyway we can.”

The conservation easement is also located along Second Creek which feeds into the Uwharrie River. “This stretch of Second Creek is known to house several species of rare mussels and other unique aquatic species,” said Director of Conservation Crystal Cockman. “These landowners are committed to conserving this property to protect all the agricultural and natural resources it provides.

The primary purpose of the conservation easement is to keep land in agriculture and to protect the land from permanent development. According to a recent study by the American Farmland Trust, North Carolina has the second most threatened farmland in the country, behind Texas.  Both nationally and locally the primary threat to farmland is low density residential development. Three Rivers Land Trust plans to change that. For 26 years, the Land Trust has focused on farmland preservation and ensuring family farms remain on the landscape. Going into the future, the Land Trust plans to increase those efforts across their 15-county footprint.

This conservation easement was made possible by the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation (ADFP) Trust Fund and the USDA Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), who provided partial funding for the conservation easement.

To learn more about how to protect your own property, 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 202 acres of farmland in Randolph County

May 25, 2021

Three Rivers Land Trust is excited to announce the permanent conservation of 202 acres of farmland located in Randolph County. The farm, owned by Lloyd and Tami Roberts, is a first-generation, family owned and operated beef cattle farm. When reflecting on the farm and Roberts Farm Store, where Roberts Farm-raised beef and other local goods are sold in Denton, NC, wife and owner Tami Roberts made her mission known. “Growing up, I always wanted to have a farm,” Tami expressed. “I want it to stay that way so my kids can go out on the back porch and look over the land and see the same thing.”

Tami’s wish was granted through the completion of this all hands-on deck conservation project. Three Rivers Land Trust worked with Randolph Soil and Water to ensure the project would succeed. Randy Freeman, the Soil and Water Engineer for Randolph County stated, “This was the first venture the local district has had for farm conservation easements. We are always looking for anything we can do to help out local farmers, conserve farmland, and be of assistance to our county.”

“Farmland preservation has been a focus of Three Rivers Land Trust since the beginning,” declared Director of Conservation Crystal Cockman. “NC has the second highest amount of farmland loss out of all 50 states- we want to change that, and this puts us one step closer. Each project makes a difference and this one is no exception.”

The primary purpose of the conservation easement is to keep land in agriculture and to protect the land from permanent development, allowing generations of kids to be able to look out from the back porch and see the same view as they would today.

This conservation easement was made possible by the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation (ADFP) Trust Fund and the USDA Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), who provided partial funding for the conservation easements on Roberts Farm.

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 hosts Inaugural Yadkin Thru Paddle

On May 15 – 16, 2021, Three Rivers Land Trust hosted the first Yadkin River Kayak Camping Event. More than 60 people boarded their kayaks and canoes and paddled down the Yadkin River. The group launched in Davie County, camped in Rowan County, and wrapped up the trip in Davidson County at Yadkin River Park.

Three Rivers Land Trust Board Member, Ben Fisher, volunteered as a guide for the paddle. He said “Our first Yadkin River Thru Paddle was an overwhelming success. Land Trust members and supporters from as far away as Michigan and Florida came together to experience the natural beauty of the Yadkin and support our conservation efforts along its banks.”

Several YouTube Content Creators who highlight wilderness adventures joined the group and filmed this momentous occasion. Shane Dublin, YouTube personality of Monkey-N-Around and Manager at Rock Outdoors, said “We were all blown away with the hard work that the TRLT staff put into organizing this event. From the food to boater safety everything was phenomenal! We cannot wait for our next Three Rivers Land Trust paddle trip.”

This was the perfect opportunity to showcase the unique wilderness that North Carolina’s piedmont has to offer” says Stephen Black, owner of Row Co River Adventures. “It is a natural partnership to combine ecotourism with the group that works to protect our access to outdoor recreation.”

Other partners included New Sarum Brewery, Rock Outdoors, Roland’s Backyard BBQ, Carrol Fisher Construction, TRIP for Davidson County Foundation, Ink ‘n Stitches, TRLT Sportsman Access member, Ed Moore and TRLT Yadkin Chapter members, Natalie Hunsucker and Doug Holzman.

North Carolina’s Piedmont and Sandhills provide unique opportunities for outdoor recreation. From hiking the Uwharrie National Forest to paddling the Yadkin River, there is truly something for everyone. It is the mission of Three Rivers Land Trust to connect the people that appreciate this land we love to our local conservation efforts.

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.

Troy Rotary Partners with Three Rivers Land Trust to Restore Native Hardwoods

As spring progresses, Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) is watching their newest native hardwood planting in Montgomery County. This planting of 2,000 Chestnut and White Oaks took place at TRLT’s Low Water Bridge property and was made possible by a generous donation and support from the Troy Rotary Club.

On February 6, 2021, thirty volunteers and staff members met on a cool brisk morning and after some instruction from TRLT staff, groups of volunteers ventured out into the recently timbered area where the newly planted hardwoods would grow. “This particular site was once a large productive stand of native hardwoods. Over time, it was harvested and replaced with loblolly pine that could produce profitable timber faster.” states Cody Fulk, TRLT Conservation Lands Manager. “These newly planted hardwoods will provide valuable habitat for many of our native species.”

Both species of oaks will be present for future generations to enjoy and once they mature they will be visible from Low Water Bridge Road. “In 2020, “Supporting the Environment” became Rotary International’s seventh area of focus, making the Low Water Native Hardwood Planting project a terrific opportunity for collaboration between the Troy Rotary Club and Three Rivers Land Trust.” remarks Deborah S. Musika, Rotary Treasurer. “As Rotarians in District 7690, we are committed to supporting activities that strengthen the conservation and protection of natural resources, advance ecological sustainability, and foster harmony between communities and the environment.”

“We are thankful for the outstanding support from the Troy Rotary for not only Three Rivers Land Trust, but for conserving and restoring our vital natural areas.” states Executive Director, Travis Morehead. “They are true conservationists.”

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 permanently conserves 35 acres in Rowan County

Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) is excited to announce the conservation of a 35-acre property located in Rowan County, purchased from the Crowther Family in February of 2021. This new conservation property builds off an additional 1,400 acres owned by TRLT and known as their Two Rivers Property.

This new conservation land is located near the confluence of the South Yadkin and Yadkin Rivers and consists of mature hardwoods which are home to a variety of wildlife, including neotropical migratory songbirds. This site provides important connectivity for wildlife as it builds upon a large base of already protected land.

“Three Rivers Land Trust is very grateful to have worked with the Crowther family to conserve another important property in Rowan County,” states Executive Director, Travis Morehead. Earlier this year, TRLT transferred a 10-acre property with a boating access area to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) which is named in honor of the Crowther family.

This critical conservation project was made possible through the generous support of Fred and Alice Stanback. 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 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