Tar River Floodplain Forest Purchased by Land Conservancy

September 27, 2011

Tar River Land Conservancy recently purchased 50 acres of floodplain forest along the Tar River in Franklin County.  The tract of land is located three miles downstream of Louisburg and adjoins another property given to the Conservancy in 2008.  Combined, the properties protect 102 acres and a mile of river frontage.

Southern sugar maples, willow oaks, bitternut hickories, and cherrybark oaks tower above the floodplain forest on this 50-acre tract recently purchased by Tar River Land Conservancy. (Photo courtesy of Tar River Land Conservancy, all rights reserved.)

“We are delighted to expand the footprint of preserved habitat along the Tar River,” remarked Ernie Averett, President of the Conservancy’s Board of Directors. “Protecting bottomland forest and wetlands along the Tar River has been a top priority for the Conservancy since our founding over a decade ago.”

Funding support from the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation of Greenville, the Cannon Foundation of Concord, and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Environmental Enhancement Grant program helped the Conservancy complete the purchase of the land in August.

Biologists with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Natural Heritage Program will help the Conservancy inventory the flora and fauna found on the newly acquired site.  “This tract is located in an area of the state that is under-surveyed for many terrestrial animal species,” noted Alvin Braswell, Deputy Director of the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. “In particular, the acquisition of this bottomland site provides a great opportunity for biologists to more fully document the amphibians and reptiles that reside in forests along the Tar River in Franklin County.”

With the addition of the 50-acre site, Tar River Land Conservancy has protected 16,870 acres of farmland, wetlands, and wildlife habitat through permanent conservation easements and land acquisitions across an eight-county region – Person, Vance, Granville, Franklin, Warren, Halifax, Nash and Edgecombe Counties.  Tar River Land Conservancy is one of 23 locally-based land trusts working in North Carolina to protect critical lands for clean drinking water, farming, forestry, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation and tourism.