Our Protected Properties
CLT now holds 143 conservation easements representing over 66,000 acres.
Our land protection staff is currently working with several land owners
on projects that are slated to close in 2016-17.
If you or someone you know is thinking about a conservation easement,
please contact us by phone at 803.988.0000.
Kaki’s Cabin in Clarendon County is an important part of the eastern Lake Marion “waterfowl corridor.” This 63-acre conservation easement also enriches the scenic views of nearly 0.25 miles along the Lake Marion Passage of The Palmetto Trail.
The Hickory Top Hunt Club’s 223-acre easement in Clarendon County adjoins the South Carolina Hickory Top Wildlife Management Area on Lake Marion and contains impoundments and ponds that attract many species of waterfowl and other native and migratory wetland birds.
The Fox Tindal Tract in Clarendon County features approximately 200 acres of managed waterfowl impoundments, stands of loblolly pine, hardwoods adjoining Big Branch Creek, and a large pond. The landowners participate with the Pintail Partners, a collaborative effort involving Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, the SC Waterfowl Association, SC Department of Natural Resources and the SC Conservation Bank to provide youth with duck hunting opportunities.
The 193-acre For Ducks Tract is managed for forestry and wildlife, and it too is within the “waterfowl corridor” of Lake Marion in Clarendon County. Diverse habitats and forest areas are found here, including mature loblolly pine stands and mixed pine-hardwoods as well as healthy populations of deer, wild turkey and small game, such as rabbit, squirrel, bobcat, and raccoon.
The 1,007-acre Deer & Duck Tract is an important part of the Lake Marion “waterfowl corridor.” Along with helping to conserve waterfowl populations, this tract is planted with loblolly pine trees with scattered planted game patches allowing many wildlife species to thrive. There are also two natural wetland areas, Doctor Bay and Monkey Bay, which help to support a variety of reptile and amphibian species.
The DDK LLC tract is approximately 1,900 acres located within the COWASEE Basin Focus Area in Kershaw County. With a variety of elevations, this tract features habitat diversity ranging from bottomland hardwood forests along the Wateree River to creek bottom forests to longleaf pine uplands and high bluffs.
Dinkins Mill is a 652-acre tract located near the northern end of the “High Hills of the Santee” in Sumter County. Best known for its historic significance, it has been in the same family since 1732. The ruins of an old mill as well as forested lands surround the scenic pond along a section of the “Kings Highway,” a former Native American path, which later became a road from Camden to Charleston.
The 106-acre Hoover Tract is located near historic Stateburg in the “High Hills of the Santee” region in Sumter County and is near plantations, such as San Souci, The Ruins, and Thomas Sumter Memorial. This land is being conserved for forest and agricultural purposes and has a hilly geography with a beautiful section of Beach Creek flowing through the middle of the tract.
Pinewood Farms is a 270-acre tract located between the towns of Pinewood in Sumter County and Rimini in Clarendon County. It supports both pine and hardwood forests, along with agricultural fields, impoundments, and a large pond. The owners of this tract also participate in the public youth waterfowl hunts sponsored by the Pintail Partners.
The Murray Tract III is the third easement within the Murray project which consists of phases I, II, and III. This 1,095-acre tract is located in the COWASEE Basin in Richland County has beautiful stands of loblolly pine and a wetland bog. The property adjoins the 1,100 acre Cooks Mountain Conservation Easement, soon to be a public wildlife management area and heritage preserve managed by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, as well as the 3,700 acre Goodwill Plantation, a portion of which will have public access. The Murray project was made possible in part through the Department of Defense’s MAJIC (Military Area Joint Installation Consortium) project.
The Van Watts’ Pace Industries property consists of 724 acres and is also located in the COWASEE Basin in Richland County. This property has a spectacular array of loblolly and longleaf pine forests and is primarily used for forestry, wildlife management, and recreation.
The McDavid Tract is a 710-acre tract owned by John McDavid in southwestern Clarendon County. This 710-acre tract is almost entirely forested and adjoins other conservation easements in the vicinity known locally as the “Waterfowl Corridor of Lake Marion.”
Featherhorn Farms is a 475-acre property also located in Clarendon County.. This property contains a mix of planted pines, agriculture and waterfowl recreation resources. Featherhorn Farms is a key piece in securing land protection connectivity in Clarendon County. Like many other landowners and land managers, the owner, Jimmy Lee loves the way his daily life is tied to the land sharing, “My passion every day revolves around wildlife management. The opportunity to protect the land that has given my friends, family and me much enjoyment over the years, while also the next generation, was my deciding factor to pursue a conservation easement.”
The South Carolina Waterfowl Association (SCWA) conservation easement, located in Clarendon County is a special addition to Congaree Land Trust’s portfolio of conserved lands because it allows controlled public access for those involved with waterfowl hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities. The SCWA, managed by Executive Director, David Wielicki, has a Wildlife Education Center which hosts Camp Woodie during the summer, teaching young people about birding, hunting, fishing, and the ecology of waterfowl.
Two tracts owned by Jason Ross, entitled the Ross Lands consist of 397 acres and are located adjacent to the SCWA property mentioned above. This property furthers our conservation vision of the “Waterfowl Corridor of Lake Marion” in western Clarendon County. This property supports bird species considered to be of the highest priority by the SC Department of Natural Resources and also supports populations of white-tailed deer, doves, quail, wild turkey, wood ducks, and mallards.
The Willow Oak Gun Club LLC placed a conservation easement on its 192-acre property which is located approximately 9 miles south of the SCWA tract. Part of this property borders Dingle Pond, a Carolina Bay, one of South Carolina’s special and mysterious landforms managed by the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service. John Williamson, the gun club’s president shares, “I love working the land to improve the condition and quality of the habitat.”
Sweet Prospect Plantation, LLC, located in Fairfield County, is owned by Mr. Whit Slagsvol as a forest and recreational tract. The property consists of 1,358 acres of rolling hills, Little River, and a large beaver pond. Mr. Slagsvol shares, “the Piedmont is beautiful with views of 20 miles as well as a wonderful turkey population, one I would like to see grow.”
In Lexington County, the historic properties of the Colet and Lindler farms totaling 120.11 acres are now conserved. This collection of residential and agricultural buildings has historic significance in that it has been continuously held by the same family since the eighteenth century and serves as a physical reminder of the many different agricultural periods in the South Carolina Midlands. During the mid-1700’s, Jacob Lindler first obtained the land through a land grant, and over time, the land has been utilized for agricultural fields, livestock grazing, and both pine and hardwood forest land. As you travel down Crooked Creek Road, you can still see a historic barn standing proud. The Lindler family has collected artifacts over the years that reveal the property has been occupied from at least the Middle Archaic period (roughly 8,000 years ago.)This historic barn on the Lindler Farm is shown at left.
Murray Tract, LLC (2) is located on the east side of Richland County and consists of 392.29 acres between Highway 601 and the Wateree River, near Fort Jackson. This is the second land area of the Murray Tract, LLC to be placed under conservation easement and provides a wonderful example of planted and natural stands of loblolly with a hardwood drainage area near the creek.
In the High Hills of the Santee (Stateburg, Sumter County), Mr. Todd Hoover and Mr. Rett Summerville placed easements on their historic lands. Mr. Summerville’s property has been in agriculture or forestry since 1770, when the first owner was issued a Kings Grant for 200 acres. In 1784, General Thomas Sumter purchased the property and then sold it in 1791 to John Mayrant, who was a successful cotton planter. In the years from 1835 to 1838, the property housed a school that was used to educate young ladies. Around 1838, Colonel Richard Singleton bought the property for his daughter and new husband. The young couple renovated the house and gardens and gave the property its name: “The Ruins.” The property was farmed or used as pasture land until the 1960’s when a tree farm was planted. The property passed down through members of this family until 1985, when Mr. Summerville purchased the property. Mr. Hoover’s property was also once a part of two larger plantations owned by the Sumter and Rutledge families and is situated on the side of one of the High Hills. The picture at left is the stately house at “The Ruins”.
The Congaree Land Trust worked to bring three unique properties under conservation easement, including Congaree Carton, FBSC, and the Sumter Wateree Club to form the Wateree Project. These three privately owned properties are located along the Wateree River on the Sumter County line and together comprise nearly 13,000 acres and over 13 miles of riverfront! The Wateree Project will feature 12 boat-in only campsites along the Wateree River which will provide a special public benefit that will add significantly to the pleasure of floating the Wateree River Blue Trail. Funding for these projects was made possible by the South Carolina Conservation Bank, whose mission is to improve the quality of life in South Carolina through the conservation of significant natural resource lands, wetlands, historical properties, and archaeological sites which works well with the mission of the Congaree Land Trust. The Wateree Project properties bring more to the conservation table than their connection tot he river. The landowners manage their lands for timber, provide natural habitat for wildlife, and also provide traditional outdoor recreation to the hunting and fishing clubs that watch over these lands.
In Kershaw County, the Clemson University Real Estate Foundation placed a conservation easement on 753.3 acres along the Wateree River. One of the Foundation’s representatives said, ” Clemson University will use this property to provide environmental education programs and research opportunities to students of all ages. Having such a unique piece of property, with so many educational aspects, will provide a true living laboratory for students across many disciplines, and the fact that this tract has remained almost completely undisturbed over the years is even more exciting as programs for the property are evaluated and created.” An eagle’s nest perched high atop a pine tree along the Wateree River on the Clemson Tract is shown at left.
The Congaree Land Trust protected the Ness property in Bamberg County which features an isolated natural Carolina Bay. Locating and conserving Carolina Bays in central South Carolina is one of the key goals of the congaree Land Trust. The Ness property certainly achieves this goal and protects 162 acres in the Midlands. The Carolina Bay is pictured at left.
Located in Fairfield county, the Doty Farm Tract consists of 796 acres of incredibly picturesque rolling hills. The Doty Family has owned the family for 40 years and loves to raise and ride horses . The seven ponds and planted timberlands provide many places for outdoor recreation. When asked what they like best about their land why they chose to put a conservation easement on the property, the family said, “We love having family gatherings at the old farm barn house and want to guarantee the future preservation of this farm.”
In Richland County, the Gilmore West tract of 459 acres has some wonderful examples of a xeric sandhill longleaf ecosystem with a “scrub oak” understory. The owners of this long-held family property wish to restore it to a graceful longleaf pine forest overlooking the Wateree River. This project was made possible through the Department of Defense’s MAJIC (Military Joint Installation Consortium) Program, which seeks to protect the missions of the military installations in Richland and Sumter County through the use of voluntary conservation easements as buffers around the installations.
In Sumter County, Mr. Ken Simmons placed a conservation easement on his family’s property, Birchwood Farm. The property consists of 405 acres and is described by family as being “unusual and historic.” They add, “For those that have traveled 261 to the beach, one cannot appreciate the ‘mountain/bluff’ characteristics this site has. Additionally the Santee Swamp property line is the original Kings Highway from Charleston to the Town of Camden. Being surrounded by Manchester State Forest, Historic Milford Plantation and the Upper Santee Swamp, Birchwood provides an isolated, natural site with beauty, wildlife, scenic vistas and history.” The family has restored the old Broughton’s Mill Pond site and the old Broughton’s road entering the swamp, providing even more history and intrigue to this property.
Situated on the Congaree River, across from the Congaree National Park, is High Creek Farm in Calhoun County. This farm consists of 1,772 acres and has been in the Salley family for a very long time. Their property has a rich history as it was assembled from multiple colonial land grants in the 1700’s and passed through several families’ hands and served many uses. Under John Lord in 1786, the property was at the center of a major new road project from Huger’s Ferry to Halfway Swamp. Part of it served as the plantation home of Colonel William Thomason, who helped lead the Battle of Sullivan’s Island in 1776, and in the 1800’s the land produced large quantities of agricultural products under several owners. By the 1920’s the property had been subdivided and subsequently pieced back together. In 1940, Charles Wallace, father of Kathyrn Salley, purchased the land from the Carolina Life Insurance Company and has remained in the family for three generations. The land features an extensive river cypress swamp floodplain and a bluff that soars about 150 feet above the river. The Salley family manages the forest and wildlife on the land and enjoy hunting and fishing together throughout the year.
River Oaks Farm is located in Clarendon County in the Lake Marion waterfowl flyway and consists of 431 acres. This farm specializes in growing food and providing flooded field habitats for both our resident and migratory ducks. The owner, Larry Avins, shares that he has seen “at least 25 species of waterfowl and wading birds visiting his waterfowl ponds and fields.” This project was made possible through the State Conservation Bank grant program.
ABH Timlerland LLC is located in Orangeburg County and consists of two tracts totaling 331 acres. This property features a natural cypress savannah and several isolated cypress and gum bay ponds all of which are now “no-cut” prserved wooded areas. Another feature on the property is a historic cemetery with markers dating from the 1800’s. The owner, Mr. Alan Brock, is a retired forester and says his longer term plans are “to manage the land for timber revenue while enhancing the wildlife habitats.” He has carefully harvested timber to create more wildlife openings and hopes to have “10% of his property in food plots.” He is a lifelong member of the Quality Deer Management Association and would like to “encourage other land owners to join a conservation organization like CLT because together we can make a difference.”
One interesting conservation easement was a 417-acre project involving nine landowners in the Mine Hill community. Most people that drive to the beach this way are familiar with the scenic drive between Highway 378 and Wedgefield. None of the properties fit CLT’s minimum standard of 100 acres but because they were all together and the landowners had similar motives to see their properties protected, it was all treated basically like one conservation easement.
Three very nice properties, all adjoining one another and totaling more than 900 acres, and located on the east side of Highway 261 just opposite the Mine Hill property, were also closed on at the end of 2011. At 430 acres, the largest parcel of the three, known as Stirling Plantation, belongs to Hugh McLaurin a long-time resident of Sumter County and retired Brigadier General.
Another parcel consisting of 203 acres, belongs to his sister, Jennie Linn Duffie, while the third, at 293 acres, belongs to Beth Masters and Mary Shaw and was handed down to them by their father McLaurin Shaw. All of this property has been actively farmed by the McLaurin family for six generations.
A very nice parcel consisting of 233 acres belongs to Curtis and Creighton Miles of Camden. The property adjoins the DNR Longleaf Pine Heritage Preserve and provides additional protection and buffer for the Preserve. It has a nice mix of forest and open land with wildlife management being a primary land use objective. The property also features several striking pond cypress depression wetlands.
In Calhoun County we had three significant conservation easement properties. Two are located in the COWASEE Basin on the high bluffs along the Congaree River. The 358-acre Dolin Hill property is owned by well-known conservationist and COWASEE Basin Task Force Chairman Richard Watkins of St. Matthews. For its size Dolin Hill is one of the most diverse properties in central South Carolina. The other COWASEE conservation easement is a 266-acre tract located near the DNR Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve.
The third conservation easement property from Calhoun County belongs to CLT Board Chairman Hank Stallworth. This historic 400-acre tract, known as Singleton and located near Fort Motte, features wildlife management as a high priority. It supports large numbers of the beautiful and declining Painted Bunting as well as habitat for numerous other songbirds. The property features a diverse mix of fields, hedgerows, longleaf pine stands, and hardwood ravines and seepage springs.
2010 Land Donation
Thanks to a generous gift the Congaree Land Trust was able to acquire a 56 acre property on US 601 in lower Richland County. It is located in the COWASEE Basin. Eventually this property will be sold to a conservation minded buyer with a conservation easement in place.