The Transylvania Times -

By Park Baker
Staff Writer 

More Headwaters State Forest Land To Be Bought - Brevard NC

 


The Duke Energy Water Resources Fund has donated $100,000 to the N.C. Conservation Fund to purchase more land for inclusion in the Headwaters State Forest.

Roughly 4,200 acres of land have been purchased so far from former Congressman Charles Taylor. The goal is to eventually purchase 8,000 acres of land in the East Fork area of Transylvania County.

This tract is one of the largest remaining privately owned tracts in Western North Carolina.

The property has particular significance as it connects more than 100,000 acres of existing conserved lands in North and South Carolina.

Headwaters State Forest project coordinator Michael Cheek said the money could purchase roughly 25 acres from Taylor.

“The Conservation Fund has a contract to purchase the entire property, and as we get grant funding in we will go to closing with the (Conservation Fund) and purchase the land from Mr. Taylor and then turn it over to the state,” said Cheek. “We’ve been in this process for about three and a half years, so this is the second or third contract that the Conservation Fund has implemented.”

The Duke Energy fund project is part of a $10 million commitment to assist nonprofits in protecting and improving the environment.

Cheek is the assistant regional forester for the North Carolina Forest Service and worked with the Conservation Fund to apply for the grant. Cheek also anticipates that the $100,000 will be matched by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund to allow for more land to be purchased for Headwaters State Forest.

The Headwaters State Forest is expected to expand recreational opportunities while also preserving more than 60 miles of streams classified as High Quality Waters. The tract will also protect documented occurrences of a federally endangered plant species and other plant and animal species of concern, such as the native strain of the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout and Appalachian Mountain Bogs.

The property will be managed as a working Stewardship Forest by the Forest Service and as a State Game Land in cooperation with the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission.

 
 

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