Eighty-one acres along a half-mile of the Broad River in Rutherford County are now permanently protected thanks to two conservation-minded landowners who worked with Foothills Conservancy to place a conservation easement on the land.
Siblings Nancy Koone Montgomery and Max Koone donated a conservation easement on the family land to Foothills Conservancy, thus ensuring that it will not be subdivided or developed. Grants from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina Mountain Revolving Fund provided funding for the project.
“Max and I wanted to protect our land from development for farming, wildlife, and water quality,” said landowner Nancy Montgomery. “We thank Foothills Conservancy for helping us preserve our family’s heritage and farmland.”
The Koone family property falls within Foothills Conservancy’s protection focus area for the Broad River corridor in Rutherford and Cleveland counties. In addition, its river bottomlands— about 22 acres of the property—have prime and statewide significant farmland soils. The conservation easement allows agricultural, forestry, and family residential uses to occur.
“Working with the Koones to protect their family land along the river resulted in a conservation win for our region,” said Tom Kenney, land protection director for Foothills Conservancy. “This project helps protect water quality in a watershed that supplies drinking water to the county’s residents, and preserves scenic vistas the public can enjoy while paddling the Broad River. We are grateful for the opportunity to help Nancy and Max preserve this land they care for so deeply.”
The property is about five miles downstream from 306 acres protected by Foothills Conservancy, including its 234-acre conservancy-owned River Bend Preserve.