TRLC Preserves 40 More Acres on Fishing Creek

June 27, 2016

Tar River Land Conservancy purchased 40 acres adjoining Fishing Creek in northern Nash County in May 2016.  The newly purchased property connects to land across the creek in Halifax County that the Conservancy purchased in 2012.  Over the last fifteen years, the Conservancy has preserved 1,963 acres of land on Fishing and Little Fishing Creeks through conservation easement agreements and outright land purchases.

Twelve Hawks-Hasty Tract - Fishing Creek 1The Conservancy purchased the 40-acre property from David Hodges of Rocky Mount and John Williams of Littleton. “From the first time that I visited the property, I believed that it was an ideal place where children could learn about nature,” said Mr. Hodges.  “I knew that the Conservancy has similar goals with its other properties to give kids the opportunity to learn about the outdoors through scheduled hikes.”

Another important motivation for Mr. Hodges was to see the property preserved to honor his late grandfather L.R. Hasty of Roanoke Rapids.  “We really appreciate those folks who work with us to preserve their land to honor family members and friends,” noted Derek Halberg, Executive Director of Tar River Land Conservancy.

The Conservancy received generous contributions for the project from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation of Greenville, and the NC Attorney General’s Environmental Enhancement Grant Program.  Tar River Land Conservancy placed a permanent conservation easement on the land to ensure that the 40 acres will never be developed.

“While most of the property is a mixture of hardwood and pine forest areas, about twelve acres is currently open land that we will need to replant with trees,” noted Mr. Halberg of the Conservancy.  “We are grateful to Nash County Ranger Bill Lewis of the NC Forest Service who is advising us on this reforestation.”  The Conservancy expects to plant several thousand native hardwood seedlings in early 2017, with most seedlings being long-lived oaks and hickories that will eventually produce acorns and nuts for wildlife.

Fishing Creek is the largest tributary of the Tar River, draining an 894-square mile area from the headwaters in Vance County to its confluence with the Tar River in Edgecombe County.  Fishing Creek provides the best remaining habitat for the Tar River Spinymussel – also known by its scientific name Elliptio steinstansana – which was added to the federal list of endangered species in 1985.  Tar River Spinymussels and other freshwater mussels play important roles in keeping streams healthy by filtering and purifying water as they siphon water to feed on algae, plankton, and silts.

Twelve Hawks-Hasty Tract hiking trail in springTar River Land Conservancy plans to offer a guided hike on its newly purchased Fishing Creek property later this year.  If you would like to receive the announcement about the hike, please send an email with your contact information to or call Sheryl Munt at 919-496-5902.

To see more photos taken by Tar River Land Conservancy staff of this newly acquired property, please visit