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Pee Dee Land Trust secures three milestone projects

on Tuesday, 22 December 2015. Posted in News, Local News

Thanks to the support of the Pee Dee Land Trust conservation community, we have now surpassed the 22,000 acre mark in protected lands as of November! We worked with landowners to complete three new easement projects in 2015 totaling 990 new acres protected. These include several exciting milestone projects detailed below. Each year we strive to reach new milestones for protecting the places we love that make the Pee Dee unique.

Johnson Experimental Forest 227 acres, Chesterfield County

After 15 years PDLT reached a milestone of completing its first conservation project in Chesterfield County by partnering with Knowlton (K.W.) Johnson to establish a conservation easement on the Johnson

Experimental Forest (JEF). Dr. Johnson (Ph.D.) grew up on the property and has strong ties to it. He took the initiative to consolidate the land under his ownership by acquiring his sibling’s interest. JEF is a

unique property that is being managed as a tree farm under the American Tree Farm System while also being used as a place for experimental forestry work in collaboration with the Clemson University Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation. The property includes 227 acres of varying aged loblolly pine, longleaf pine, and bottomland hardwoods. Several stands of loblolly and longleaf have been planted using new techniques for purposes of demonstration and research. The conservation agreement put in place will keep the property in one piece and as a working tree farm.
Full article & photos:

Tilghman Tract – 670 acres, Marlboro County

On October 21st, PDLT finalized its partnership with Cattails Tree Farm, LLC to permanently protect 670 acres along the Great Pee Dee River in Marlboro County. The Tilghman tract, as the property is known, is PDLT’s fifth conservation agreement along the region’s major river. With over a mile of river frontage, significant frontage on a black water creek, an oxbow lake, and extensive bottomland hardwood and cypress-tupelo forests, the Tilghman Tract boasts significant wildlife habitat and water resources that are now protected through enhanced forested buffers. In addition, Henegan Lake is one of the first oxbow lakes on the upper Pee Dee. Such lakes are unique and have been carved off of the main river channel over time. The agreement will keep the property from being fragmented, helping to ensure that it will remain intact and in forestry and recreational uses such as hunting and fishing.

Full article and photos:

Back Swamp Woods 93 acres, Florence County

PDLT recently completed one of its more complex conservation transactions to date. It began in July of 2013 when PDLT submitted an application to the South Carolina Conservation Bank for funds to purchase 93 acres of land surrounding the Back Swamp School House, a historic school house (circa 1921) in Florence County. The objective was to secure title to the property, protect it in perpetuity with a conservation easement, and transfer the property to the Back Swamp School Trust which owns the school house. Two years later that objective was complete. This was the first project in Florence County funded by the South Carolina Conservation Bank and added to the nearly 5,000 acres of protected lands in the immediate area. A very important public benefit that is often not incorporated into these agreements is public access and this project stands out in that regard. Limited public access was an objective for the property with the anticipation that it be managed to include walking trails for the public to enjoy.

Full article and photos:

The Pee Dee Land Trust works in the nine counties that touch the Great Pee Dee River in South Carolina: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg. Its mission is to protect, and to promote an appreciation of, the significant natural, agricultural, and historical resources of the Pee Dee Region through voluntary land conservation and educational programs. For more information, visit our website:     

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