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Murray Tract Conservation Fact Sheet

Murray Tract Bottomland

Murray Tract IV

Over 900 acres of working forest just east of Fort Jackson Military Base in Eastern Richland County are now conserved, permanently protecting significant green space in central South Carolina while providing a buffer of compatible use around important military bases in the Midlands.

Total Acres: 900.7

Location:

The property is located in Eastern Richland County and lies within the COWASEE Basin, the Wateree and Santee River Watersheds, and the Congaree Biosphere. Within the same area there are 6 additional CLT easements and other protected lands including Cooks Mountain Heritage preserve and Goodwill Plantation.

“Through Congaree Land Trust, The Conservation Fund, Fort Jackson and this great group of partners, we are able to help permanently protect vital working forest land and wildlife habitat in the COWASEE Basin, which is important to us." says Francis Beidler IV, landowner of the Murray Tract IV and Willow Lake. “We're pleased that our land will also provide a recreational opportunity for folks who love these natural spaces as much as we do.”

Property Characteristics:

Upland pine plantations—loblolly pine and mixed natural pine— rolling hills, and bottomland hardwood areas.

Conservation Funding Partners:

The conservation of these lands was made possible in part by a grant from the United States Department of Defense in support of the Midlands Area Joint Installation Consortium (MAJIC). MAJIC seeks to promote the cooperative use of land, air, and water resources in the Midlands while effectively supporting the military’s training facilities in the area.

Wildlife:

This property supports populations of both game and non-game wildlife including white-tailed deer, grey squirrels, rabbits, wild turkey mourning dove, ducks, and various avian, reptile and amphibian and aquatic species. The listed rare, threatened or endangered wildlife that the land may support is the Black bear, Southern fox squirrel, Rafinesque's Big-eared bat, and the Bald eagle.

The property, coupled with lands in the Wateree Heritage Preserve, helps comprise a total of 8,183 contiguous acres which allow unimpeded pathways for wildlife in the area.

Public Access:

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.

Public Benefits

By remaining in forestry and/or agriculture forever, this land permanently protects water quality (Colonels' Creek, Leesburg Branch, Mokes Branch and Spears Creek) and conserves air quality for all. The branches and creeks (listed above) flow into the Wateree River, located within the Santee River watershed, supplying surface water to cities and towns on the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The property also consists of 1,747 feet along U.S. Highway 601, 6,800 feet along Screaming Eagle Extension and 6,918 feet along Westvaco Road adding to the public's scenic values.

Nearby is Cooks Mountain Wateree Passage Murray Tract 3jpg