Keystone Mitigation Update
Despite a growing trend for saturated Octobers (2015, 2016, and counting…), the Land Trust has harvested over 90% of the industrial loblolly that we intend to cut while the property is under our ownership. This equates to approximately 60% of the 1680-acre property. We continue to apply prescribed re, with next season’s burn schedule currently under development.
The wetland monitoring locations that were established at the beginning of the project to gauge the restoration of native vegetation have already shown signs of progress with multiple species arriving and thriving where just a few short months ago pine trees stood. This bodes well for the success of this ambitious effort, as the Keystone project is easily one of the largest forest conversion / ecosystem restoration projects in the South Carolina coastal plain. Our most exciting news: we are closing in on the planting date to restore hardwoods in the historic wetland complex. Planting will likely happen this winter and take two to three weeks. Stay tuned for opportunities to visit and see this remarkable project.
Additionally, we are enjoying good but measured progress on Keystone’s sister site, French Quarter Creek – 425 acres just across Highway 41. Plans for prescribed re and a timber harvest are well underway, which will lead to a longleaf pine planting next calendar year.