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CLT's 2020 Conservation Round-Up

Back Cover Congaree River Floodplain Steve Pittman Reduced

We are incredibly thankful for our landowners, conservation partners and supporters for helping us conserve more than 8,200 additional acres of priority conservation land in 2020! Despite unprecedented challenges, Congaree Land Trust experienced a profound year of growth with a record number of conservation success stories. Below is a round-up of the CLT's year of conservation across central SC. THANK YOU for helping CLT protect the land, water and way of life we cherish in central SC. Learn more about our work!

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October 2020: Four Properties—over 5,600 acres— are conserved in the COWASEE Basin

Over 5,600 acres east of Fort Jackson Military Base and south of McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Richland County are now conserved, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Congaree Land Trust (CLT), The Conservation Fund, the Army National Guard and multiple landowners. Now under conservation easement, but remaining in private ownership, these four properties—Murray Tract LLC, Willow Lake Business Park LLC, the Weston Family Tract, and Congaree Carton LP-Gilmore East II Tract— will permanently protect significant green space in central South Carolina while providing a buffer of compatible use around important military bases in the Midlands. 

In addition to establishing the permanent protection of these properties, CLT was pleased to collaborate with The Palmetto Conservation Foundation to facilitate an agreement with the owners of the Murray Tract for the creation of a new section of the Palmetto Trail, South Carolina’s longest pedestrian and biking trail. This new section of trail will help in the connection of the Fort Jackson and Wateree Passages. Once completed and opened to the public, hikers and bikers will enjoy bluff views adjacent to natural pine stands overlooking the scenic Wateree River floodplain.

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Loblollypineforest

AUGUST 2020—Sequoyah Timberlands Protects Land within the Lynches River Watershed

Over 1,000 acres in the Lynches River watershed are now conserved, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the McLeod family, Congaree Land Trust (CLT) and the Lynches River Conservation Fund housed at Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF). Now under conservation easement, Sequoyah Timberlands permanently protects three large tracts of privately owned land within the Lynches River watershed. 

Healthy watersheds require forested land to provide clean air and water to surrounding communities. These three tracts— located in Bethune (Kershaw County), Bishopville (Lee County) and Wisacky (Lee County)—comprise a total of 1,058.44 of forestland that will remain undeveloped forever.

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Wildturkeycreek

June 2020— Wild Turkey Creek, a working farm in Barnwell, preserves our state's farmland.

329.92 acres of privately owned farmland in Barnwell County are now conserved, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Congaree Land Trust (CLT), the South Carolina Conservation Bank (SCCB) and the Bedingfield family. Now under conservation easement, Wild Turkey Creek Farm will remain a working family farm, preserving precious open land for agriculture and timber forever. 

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Loblolly Pine Stand

April 2020—Mariwill Plantation in Fairfield County

Nearly two square miles—over 1,000 acres— of privately owned working forest and wildlife habitat in Fairfield County are now conserved, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Congaree Land Trust (CLT), the South Carolina Conservation Bank (SCCB) and the Springer family. Now under conservation easement, this substantial, natural space will remain intact forever, providing economic viability for the surrounding rural community and preserving the family’s legacy of land stewardship.

This property joins 9,045 acres conserved by Congaree Land Trust in Fairfield County, bringing the total to 10,044 acres. To date, the Congaree Land Trust has conserved 11,282 acres in the Broad River Basin, which feeds the larger Santee Basin in South Carolina. Conserving these lands maintains the health of our watersheds, protects water quality for citizens and enriches the natural resource economy of our state. 

“We became acquainted with Congaree Land Trust late in Dad’s life. It didn’t take him long to understand how a conservation easement could be a great fit for our family land, and I know my Dad would be pleased today,” says Springer. “Through Congaree Land Trust we’ve been able to ensure that Mariwill Timber Plantation will always be a reflection of Dad’s love for nature and commitment to sustainable use through conservation.”

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Bill McCrary on his farm. Image courtesy of Milliken.

January 2020—McCrary Tree Farm Conserved in Fairfield County

Over 352 acres in Fairfield County are now conserved, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Congaree Land Trust (CLT), the South Carolina Conservation Bank (SCCB) and the McCrary family. Now under conservation easement, this working property—a tree farm— helps to permanently protect central South Carolinians’ water and air quality, preserve wildlife habitat, and support the state’s natural resource economy.

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