Conservation Easement Placed on Turner Farm in Creedmoor

February 28, 2022

CREEDMOOR, NC – Lee Turner first began exploring how to protect his Creedmoor farm from future development when he reached out to Tar River Land Conservancy (TRLC) over a decade ago. The farm has been in his family for three generations. He wanted to be sure that the land would stay woodland, wetlands, ponds, and fields well after he was gone. After several conversations with TRLC Executive Director Derek Halberg, Mr. Turner decided to partner with TRLC to place a conservation easement on 120 acres of his farm. The conservation easement agreement was officially signed in December 2021. As the holder of the conservation easement, TRLC will ensure that the farm remains undeveloped forever.

A conservation easement is a voluntary, legal agreement that permanently limits uses of a property in order to protect its conservation values. The terms of the Turner conservation easement allow for the land to be managed for timber and agricultural activities, except in stream buffers and wetlands that will remain undisturbed as wildlife habitat. Mr. Turner may use the land for recreation, manage and sell timber, or lease it to others for agriculture or hunting, but the farm will be permanently off-limits to residential or commercial development.

Mr. Turner’s grandfather, John Norman Turner, purchased the farm in 1926. Like many farms in southern Granville County, the Turner farm produced tobacco and other crops for decades. By the late-1980s, the agricultural fields were converted to loblolly pine forest. The farm has provided income from timber harvests and has offered relatives and friends a place to hunt and fish over the years. The tree farm is currently managed following a forestry plan prepared by forester Dave Halley of True North Forest Management.

Loblolly pine forest managed for future timber harvests on the Turner Farm.

“I am extremely grateful to the TRLC staff for guiding me through the process of granting the easement,” stated Mr. Turner. “Although I have never lived in Granville County, my roots are there, and I hope that other landowners will take similar action to preserve the county’s rural character.”

Streams on the Turner farm flow into Ledge Creek, which then flows southward into Falls Lake – a drinking water supply for Raleigh and other Wake County communities. TRLC was awarded a grant from Raleigh’s Watershed Protection Program to cover costs of the Turner conservation easement transaction.
The Turner farm connects to other conservation lands located along Ledge Creek on Joe Peed Road. TRLC purchased an adjoining 55-acre property from descendants of the Jolly family in May 2021. Both the TRLC and Turner properties share boundaries with federally-owned “Falls Lake Project” property that is managed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Netted chain ferns thrive along a stream on the Turner Farm in Creedmoor.

“It has been an honor to help Lee achieve his goal of protecting his farm,” stated Derek Halberg, TRLC Executive Director. “We are losing farms and timberland at a quick pace in southern Granville County. I hope that Lee’s actions will inspire others to explore ways to preserve their family’s land.”

If you or a family member are interested in speaking with a TRLC representative about options to protect your land, please contact Derek Halberg by email at or by calling 919-496-5902 during business hours.