The Situation

A private group of real estate partners owned a large parcel of land totaling 798 acres located at a rural-urban interface south of the city of Gaffney in Cherokee County, South Carolina. Due to the property’s natural resources, it had the potential to be developed as an income-generating operational mine.

The property also had considerable conservation value. It surrounds Minkum Creek and two of its tributaries, which feed into the Broad River watershed of the Santee-Piedmont Ecobasin. Notably, less than four percent of the ecobasin, the largest in the state, is protected from development, and protection of this parcel would enhance the area’s conservation of the watershed. Permanently preserving this property would also prevent further damage to the land, previously used as an off-road vehicle park, which had suffered from soil erosion and degradation due to an improperly planned forest harvest.

The Solution

The real estate partnership that owned the land enlisted the help of Heritage Preservation Trust, a South Carolina-based land trust with a mission to preserve and protect “America’s natural and historical resources for the benefit of present and future generations.” The land trust conducted a comprehensive review of the property and confirmed its conservation importance. Together, the real estate partnership and Heritage Preservation Trust formulated a plan and negotiated the terms of the easement, which focused on conserving the property in perpetuity and restoring it to its natural state.

The Outcome

Working collaboratively, the landowner group and Heritage Preservation Trust focused on two factors in developing terms of the easement:

  1. Protection of the Broad River watershed in the Santee-Piedmont Ecobasin
  2. Preservation of open space for the public’s scenic enjoyment or pursuant to a clearly delineated governmental conservation policy

The easement also provided for the implementation of land management plans that would restore the property to a more pristine condition than when conserved, manage timber via natural re-generation and prescribed controlled burns, manage the property to provide ideal habitat for wildlife, and open the parcel to the public for hunting and outdoor recreation.

In reflecting on this tremendous conservation effort, George Thornton of Heritage Preservation Trust commented, “The conservation of these 798 acres will provide significant benefits, from air and water quality in the Broad River watershed and larger Santee-Piedmont Ecobasin to the rebuilding of soil productivity and scenic vistas on county roads. The federal tax incentive proved effective in encouraging the owners to permanently conserve this property, rather than develop it.”

This successful conservation effort would not have been possible without private individuals actively pursuing new opportunities to preserve and protect valuable land resources. Ultimately, their work led to an environmentally important tract of land being conserved for future generations, a win for South Carolinians and the broader conservation community as a whole.

Snapshot
State: South Carolina
Acres Preserved: 798

This successful conservation effort would not have been possible without private individuals actively pursuing new opportunities to preserve and protect valuable land resources.

Recent Case Studies
Updates

The Hill By Robert Ramsay October 15, 2019 Across the country, signs of autumn are on full display – leaves are changing color and temperatures are dropping. Another annual

American ornithologist and naturalist John James Audubon is known for his historic efforts to draw birds in their natural habitats, but his impacts on conservation in the United

Facebook
Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Robert Ramsay became President and Executive Director of P4C in January of 2019 and we are proud to have such a dedicated conservationist and outdoorsman to lead our fast-growing organization. See more major moments for P4C and American #conservation:
https://partnershipforconservation.org/conservation-timeline/

Robert Ramsay became President and Executive Director of P4C in January of 2019 and we are proud to have such a dedicated conservationist and outdoorsman to lead our fast-growing organization. See more major moments for P4C and American #conservation:
partnershipforconservation.org/conservation-timeline/
... See MoreSee Less