Foothills Conservancy adds 77 acres to Smith Cliffs/Henry Fork River Preserve in Burke County

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina recently acquired 77 acres of land for permanent protection and addition to the conservancy’s Smith Cliffs/Henry Fork River Preserve in Burke County.

Landowner Tim Sweeney donated the property to Foothills Conservancy, along with a generous contribution to cover stewardship costs associated with the project. Conservation Trust for North Carolina also contributed $20,000 via its Mountain Revolving Loan Fund Mini-Grant Program to cover remaining transaction costs.

The land, known as the Overstreet Property, is made up of undeveloped forest bordering three quarters of a mile of the Henry Fork River. Conservation of the property will ensure continued protection of the Henry Fork, which the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has designated “Outstanding Resource Waters.” The property is separated from the conservancy’s Smith Cliffs/Henry Fork River Preserve by a single parcel of land, increasing the possibility of connecting them in the future.

“With continued thanks to Tim Sweeney, Foothills Conservancy’s efforts to acquire and conserve important natural areas and rural lands along the Henry Fork River are growing in impact,” said Tom Kenney, the conservancy’s land protection director. “From 25 acres at Smith Cliffs in 2014 to 226 total acres today, we are honored to protect and steward one of North Carolina’s highest quality rivers, which flows to Charlotte’s Lake Wylie and the Catawba River.”