Willow Lake Conservation Fact Sheet
The conservation of this large tract between Fort Jackson and the Wateree River will keep a significant upland pine forest ecosystem intact forever, supporting creek riverine and upland habitats for many wildlife species, enhancing air and water quality, while sustaining the rural economy of our state.
Total Acres: 705.13
Willow Lake is located in Eastern Richland County and lies within the COWASEE Basin, the Wateree and Santee River Watersheds, and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. A portion of the property adjoins the Wateree Heritage Preserve. With the public lands comprising the Wateree Heritage Preserve and the existing CLT conservation easements in the area, this property makes a total of 10,614 contiguous acres of protected land in the area, and 3.27 miles of common boundary with the Preserve.
Majority loblolly pine forest, with natural stands of mixed pine and hardwoods, and natural stands of mixed bottomland hardwoods.
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.
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 10,614 contiguous acres, which allow unimpeded pathways for wildlife in the area.
By remaining in forestry and/or agriculture forever, this land permanently protects water quality (Colonel's Creek) and conserves air quality for all. Colonel's Creek flows 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 approximately 4,102 feet along U.S. Highway 601 adding to the public scenic values, and 34,350 feet along Colonel's Creek.