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Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy purchases 155 acres on Green River

The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy in Hendersonville and the Polk County Community Foundation have purchased a total of 586 acres on the Green River and are exploring ways to conserve the land for future generations. The CMLC bought 155 acres located upstream of South Wilson Hill Rd. in Mill Spring while the PCCF bought 431 acres downstream of South Wilson Hill Road. The land was once considered for a residential subdivision but these plans went under during the 2008 recession. (submitted by Kieran Roe)

The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy in Hendersonville and the Polk County Community Foundation have purchased a total of 586 acres on the Green River and are exploring ways to conserve the land for future generations. The CMLC bought 155 acres located upstream of South Wilson Hill Rd. in Mill Spring while the PCCF bought 431 acres downstream of South Wilson Hill Road. The land was once considered for a residential subdivision but these plans went under during the 2008 recession. (submitted by Kieran Roe)

The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy based in Hendersonville recently purchased 155 acres on the Green River for conservation.

The land is upstream from the 431 acres purchased at the same time by Community Green, LLC, an entity created by the Polk County Community Foundation. (Editor’s Note: Please see article in the May 25, 2016 edition of the Bulletin detailing the PCCF purchase)

Both the CMLC and the PCCF partnered together in the purchase of the 586 acres along the Green River in Mill Spring for $1.75 million, according to CMLC Executive Director Kieran Roe. The land was divided into two tracts and was purchased from Green River Cooper Properties, LLC in Charlotte.

This stretch of land purchased by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy continues for 155 acres. It is the other portion of the 586 acres the CMLC and PCCF bought and divided. The PCCF acquired 431 acres on the other side South Wilson Hill Road in Mill Spring. (photo by Michael O’Hearn)

This stretch of land purchased by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy continues for 155 acres. It is the other portion of the 586 acres the CMLC and PCCF bought and divided. The PCCF acquired 431 acres on the other side South Wilson Hill Road in Mill Spring. (photo by Michael O’Hearn)

“The organizations will work together to conserve and manage the property and plan for potential future public access and use,” Roe said, adding that the tracts will remain closed to the public until further notice. A residential subdivision had been planned for the land prior to the 2008 recession.

A donation from Fred and Alice Stanback in Salisbury, N.C. provided $225,000 to the CMLC for the purchase of the 155-acre tract and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina matched this donation. Community Green, LLC provided most of the funding, or $1.3 million, for the purchase toward the entire 586-acre property.

CMLC Land Protection Director Tom Fanslow described the tracts as “entirely forested” and said the more than three miles of land is home to healthy and intact populations of hemlocks, which have been impacted across Western North Carolina by the insect pest, woolly adelgid.

“By making this purchase today, we are trying to anticipate the future needs for open land and recreation,” Fanslow explained. “We couldn’t let this slip by.”

Roe said the CMLC is anticipating reaching out to local organizations to help in overseeing the newly purchased land for recreational use. Pam Torlina, director of stewardship and land conservation of the Pacolet Area Conservancy, has been contacted by the CMLC for this purpose.

Under a management agreement with Community Green, LLC, the CMLC will control unpermitted usage of the land while also managing the land’s natural resources, according to Roe.

“We are thrilled that these important natural resource areas, that create a riparian buffer and watershed protection for the Green River, have been forever protected,” Torlina said. “We’re equally excited to work with CMLC in stewarding this land and providing more valued recreational opportunities in Polk County.”