A beautiful 43-acre parcel of land on the Henry Fork River in the South Mountains is now permanently protected thanks to conservation-minded landowners Doug and Ann Wright.
Foothills Conservancy purchased the property earlier today. The land includes 41 acres of forest and approximately two acres of pasture adjacent to the Henry Fork River near South Mountains State Park in Burke County. Conservationist Tim Sweeney contributed funds to make it possible for Foothills Conservancy to purchase and conserve the tract. Conservation Trust for North Carolina awarded a grant to Foothills Conservancy from its Mountain Mini-grant program to cover some of the transaction expenses.
“We as individuals can only own land for a while,” says Doug Wright. “Sooner or later we will pass on. I feel it is my duty to make plans to turn over the responsibility for this special land in a way that ensures it will be preserved for future generations.”
Foothills Conservancy identified the tract as a high priority for conservation in its 2010 South Mountains Outstanding Resource Waters Conservation Plan, which was funded by the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
“It is truly a pleasure working with landowners like Doug and Ann Wright,” says Andrew Kota, Foothills Conservancy Stewardship Director. “Because of their conservation intentions for the property, the acquisition process was extremely smooth. The property itself had been stewarded well by the Wrights, and Foothills Conservancy is honored to take on the responsibility of permanently preserving the land and its valuable natural resources.”
Exceptionally diverse for its size, the parcel is comprised of forested uplands, river riparian lands, and aquatic habitat and includes eight distinct natural community types. The tract will eventually become part of a Foothills Conservancy managed preserve, connecting the mountainous areas of the preserve to the Henry Fork River.
Through this purchase, Foothills Conservancy protects 2,000 linear feet of the Henry Fork River’s banks, and more than 2,000 feet of tributary streams that begin on the property and flow into the Henry Fork River. The Henry Fork River is designated by N.C. Division of Water Resources as Outstanding Resource Waters, with excellent water quality and aquatic habitat.