747+ Acres Now Conserved in Lower Richland County
Collaborative Land Protection Effort Benefits SC Economy and Environment
COLUMBIA, SC—Over 747 acres of priority conservation land in Richland County are now conserved, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Congaree Land Trust (CLT), Midlands Area Joint Installation Consortium (MAJIC), The Conservation Fund and the Beidler family. The property, located just outside the McEntire Joint National Guard Base, will permanently protect significant green space in central South Carolina while providing a buffer around one of the Midlands' key military bases. Now under conservation easement, the Beidler’s property joins over 10,600 conserved acres in Richland County by CLT.
"We're thankful for the Beidler family and our partners on this conservation project in the heart of our conservation focus area." says Stuart White, CLT’s Executive Director. "The current environmental impacts of sprawl and development in the Midlands of South Carolina can be tempered with collaborative land protection efforts that benefit both our economy and the environment."
The tracts within the property are managed for forestry and wildlife near the McEntire Joint National Guard Station, with loblolly pine stands and a hardwood riparian area along Tom’s Creek. The hardwood areas along Tom’s Creek may be attractive to a variety of wildlife species including wood ducks, egrets, herons and birds of prey. The land will remain a working property primarily in timber and agriculture.
The MAJIC group is made up of military partners, non-governmental organizations, and all levels of government working to combat encroachment that can limit or restrict military training, testing, and operations. MAJIC utilizes the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program to protect these military missions by helping remove or avoid land-use conflicts near installations. This project was completed using funding from the REPI Program to protect this property off the end of the runway at McEntire.
“The Conservation Fund is happy to again be working with Congaree Land Trust to protect additional land in Lower Richland County," says Jason Johnson, South Carolina Director of The Conservation Fund. "We thank U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and U.S. Representative James Clyburn for the critical federal funding from the REPI program. We would also like to thank the Beidler family. Without their patience and generosity, this conservation easement would not have happened. This project is a fantastic intersection of land conservation and protection of military mission and The Conservation Fund looks forward to continuing to work with all our partners to build on this momentum.”
The property will also help safeguard the nearby COWASEE Basin, a local conservation focus area around the confluence of the Wateree, Congaree and Santee Rivers. The COWASEE Basin Focus Area is a community effort to encourage the continuation of private ownership while ensuring long-term protection and enhancement of our resources with stewardship and conservation.
“We've been privileged to get to work with Congaree Land Trust and the Conservation Fund to protect and preserve this beautiful part of Richland County through this easement.” says landowner Frank Beidler IV. “We look forward to being good, long-term stewards of the land with their continued supervision.”
About Congaree Land Trust: The Congaree Land Trust (CLT) was founded in 1992 by seven individuals committed to conserving the natural and scenic lands in central South Carolina. To date, over 78,000 acres have been conserved, representing 172 individual conservation easements across 14 counties. Conservation easements help protect the natural areas that fuel our state’s natural resource-based economy and define our way of life. Learn more: www.congareelt.org or contact Erin Eisele at firstname.lastname@example.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 nearly 165,000 acres in South Carolina. Visit conservationfund.org for additional information.