This week the Land Trust celebrated its first conservation easement closings for 2014! Protection of key river corridors is a conservation priority for the Land Trust. These two easements contribute to downstream water quality for recreation, healthy fisheries, drinking water and other public benefits.
On Tuesday, Richard Padgett and David Barnes protected Southern Property, 108 acres of working forestland in Hampton County near Estill in the South Lowcountry Focus Area. Their conservation easement will protect valuable water quality by buffering Black Creek, a tributary of the Coosawhatchie River. Conservation partners have been working together in the South Lowcountry landscape for years to protect valuable river and creek corridors, wildlife habitat and forestland. Southern Property contributes another 108 acres to the 140,000 acres of protected land in the South Lowcountry.
On Wednesday, Mickey and Betty Floyd contributed a conservation easement on Pin Branch Plantation, a 105-acre property located in Orangeburg County within the Santee-Cooper Lakes Focus Area. Pin Branch is surrounded on all sides by protected land including private protected property and connected by these protected lands to Audubon SC’s Francis Beidler Forest and Sanctuary, a globally significant old-growth swamp forest. Protection of Pin Branch provides critical habitat connectivity by filling a gap in a corridor of protected lands, and enhances water quality associated with Four Holes Swamp, the headwaters of the world-class ACE Basin landscape.
Both conservation easements were supported with funds from the South Carolina Conservation Bank (www.sccbank.sc.gov).