Jasper County, SC – Lowcountry Land Trust proudly announces the successful recording of a new conservation easement on 2,851 acres of significant forest land in Jasper County. The permanent protection of the property, part of Turkey Hill Plantation, is central to Lowcountry Land Trust’s mission of safeguarding landscapes and waterways across the region forever.
Mr. Jerry Milbank and his family have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to conservation by granting the easement on Turkey Hill. The Milbank family additionally protected their Calf Pen Bay and Amazing Grace tracts in 2022, bringing their total conserved acreage to an impressive 3,322 acres across the three projects.
The Turkey Hill conservation easement not only adds to the increasing impact of Lowcountry Land Trust’s efforts (162,000 acres conserved and counting) but also aligns with public partners’ vision of protecting a 50,000-acre corridor between the ACE Basin and South Lowcountry conservation focus areas, stretching to the protected lands along the Savannah River. This landscape-scale effort is crucial in stabilizing and preserving the region’s unique and fragile ecosystems.
“We are grateful for the ongoing partnership of area landowners and organizations such as Open Space Institute (OSI), Open Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), whose collaborative efforts have been instrumental in establishing both private and public protected landscapes within this corridor,” said Ashley Demosthenes, President and CEO of Lowcountry Land Trust. “The completion of the Turkey Hill conservation easement is a testament to the dedication of private landowners, like the Milbank family, who share many organizations’ commitment to preserving the natural resources and beauty of the Lowcountry.”
In aggregate, Lowcountry Land Trust’s easements on Turkey Hill (2,851 acres), the aforementioned Calf Pen Bay and Amazing Grace tracts (471 acres), and the 2023-protected Savannah Branch Mitigation Site (2,169 acres), in combination with OSI and TNC’s recent acquisition of the Slater-Buckfield tract (12,300 acres) intended for public access, represent an impressive 36% of the 50,000-acre conservation corridor protected in the last two years.
“The cumulative impact of our conservation efforts, including the new easement on Turkey Hill, achieves a decades-long vision of knitting two world-class conservation landscapes together. It is a model of what can result from perseverance, creativity, and collaboration,” added Demosthenes.
Lowcountry Land Trust will continue its collaborative conservation work with partners and private landowners to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of the Lowcountry’s natural landscapes.