Preserving beauty of the area through horse farm conservation easements

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 1, 2016

Horse Farm Photos-Pack's_1WEB

By  Pam Torlina

For the past 27 years, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) has served as the regional land trust for Polk County and surrounding areas in North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. The non-profit, grass roots organization is dedicated to protecting the precious natural resources making up the land and water which impacts the beauty and health of our area.

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Since its inception, PAC has been ahead of its time in the proactive protection of this region’s natural environment. Through the organization’s conservation efforts, nearly 8,700 acres have been protected in our area.

Based in Tryon, PAC focuses on the thoughtful conservation of mountains, watersheds, forests, farms and greenspace. The land trust helps protect habitat for flora and fauna, as well as scenic and agricultural resources. PAC works with area landowners to ensure the long-term protection of their property through voluntary conservation easements (agreements), which enable landowners to maintain ownership of their property while preserving precious natural resources.  Lands we’ve preserved by voluntary conservation easements protect riparian corridors, which preserve our drinking water, mountains and ridgetops which, in turn, preserves our viewsheds, forests we use for recreation and nature appreciation, and the impressive greenspace created by the area’s horse farms and agrarian activities.

In fact, PAC has permanently protected 1,010 acres on 17 local horse farms. In addition, PAC protects 3,190 acres of land on 30 properties which provide miles of protected equestrian trails, including land around the trails used by FETA, CETA, and NPA members, as well as trails used by riders in private horse farm communities.

Love of the area is shared by those who were born and raised in the region as well as by those who have moved to the area from elsewhere. Many people who are involved with horses, whether as competitors in hunter-jumper shows, dressage shows, western shows and competitions; eventing, gaited, or driving; recreational, endurance riders, or fox hunters; or breeders on a large or small scale, moved to this area because they fell in love with the beautiful open spaces and the horse communities which formed around these various activities.

One way to preserve our horse country and to ensure the future enjoyment of these equestrian activities we take pleasure in is to protect the land in perpetuity by creating a thoughtful, carefully written, conservation easement (agreement) on your property. Each conservation easement is personalized to reflect the wishes of the landowner; essentially, it is a will for your land.

The Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC), your local land trust, welcomes the opportunity to discuss land conservation options with area landowners. Please contact us at 828-859-5060, email, drop by our office at 850 N. Trade St., Tryon, NC, and check out our website at