PAC adds important piece to protected watershed area
Published 9:16 am Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The dedication of a property owner and a number of volunteers from the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) has ensured that a significant piece of land has been protected in the North Pacolet River watershed.
Although the tract, at 8.5 acres, is relatively small, it includes a stream, which flows into the North Pacolet, mature forest and abundant native plant species. The landowner, who wishes to be anonymous, recognized the conservation value of the property and approached PAC to see if there would be interest in purchasing it.
In order to make sure the property would be protected, the owner was willing to sell at a price below market value, and PAC made the decision to purchase the property. PAC normally does not purchase properties, but looks to landowners for voluntary conservation easement agreements on their property. Due to a generous bequest from the Tom and Muriel Nash estate and contributions from other donors, PAC was able to purchase this valuable property.
The newly protected property is contiguous with 88.4 acres of land already permanently owned and/or protected by PAC. This ecologically significant area within the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment contains some of the highest natural diversity of rare plants and animals found anywhere in the world, according to the Nature Conservancy. It has been identified as a North Carolina Natural Heritage high priority site, and conservation of this irreplaceable natural heritage is considered crucial.