Conserving Carolina adds more than 400 acres to DuPont Forest 

Published 11:47 pm Sunday, February 17, 2019

Tract to help conserve key headwater streams along Eastern Continental Divide 

HENDERSON COUNTY—Conserving Carolina transferred 402 acres of land to the North Carolina Forest Service to expand DuPont State Recreational Forest.  

The transfer was complete on Tuesday, Feb. 12.  

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“In a region blessed with an abundance of public and conserved natural lands, DuPont State Recreational Forest is already one of our greatest conservation gems,” Conserving Carolina Executive Director Kieran Roe said. “The incorporation of the Continental Divide tract will enhance it further by protecting water quality, preserving an important wildlife corridor and creating future opportunities for public recreation.”  

Streams located on the Continental Divide tract form the headwaters of both Reasonover Creek and the Green River, according to Conserving Carolina’s press release.  

Conserving Carolina identified the Continental Divide tract as a priority more than a dozen years ago with the land having different ownerships, including a bank foreclosure. Gwinnett Industries purchased the land in 2016 and partnered with Conserving Carolina to protect the land. Gwinnett Industries agreed to a phased series of purchases, according to Conserving Carolina, and sold the land well below appraised value.  

The total purchase was for 415 acres, with Conserving Carolina transferring 13 acres in Henderson County to the Green River Preserve last fall. The remaining 402 acres were transferred to the North Carolina Forest Service.  

Conserving Carolina also plans to purchase the remaining 314 acres of the Continental Divide property to add to DuPont State Forest by the end of this year. Conserving Carolina said the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund will provide most of the funding for the remaining 314 acres and Conserving Carolina is working to raise an additional $100,000 to cover the rest.  

Funding for the 402 acres recently acquired came through grants from the Open Space Institute and the North Carolina Forest Service and private donations from Fred and Alice Stanback, Marilyn Westphal and Mark Simpson and Maurice Loiselle and Karen Topol.  

Conserving Carolina serves Polk, Henderson, Transylvania and parts of Rutherford counties in North Carolina and the Landrum area in Spartanburg County.  

Conserving Carolina also last year acquired 300 acres of the former Foster Creek Preserve subdivision in Columbus and gifted it to Polk County to create walking and biking trails on Little White Oak Mountain.