300 acres permanently protected in northern Greenville County

September 21st, 2021

We're pleased to announce the protection of 300 acres in northern Greenville County in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT). Funding from The Daniel-Mickel Foundation helped make this conservation success possible.

The conservation of this property significantly expands protected acreage along the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

The property, known as the White Tract, was originally purchased by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) following a multi-year campaign to raise more than $2.2 million to obtain this significant acreage. TNC later transferred ownership of the property to SCPRT, who partnered with Upstate Forever to place a conservation easement on the land to ensure its permanent protection. The conservation of the White Tract significantly expands protected acreage in the Blue Ridge Escarpment area near Jones Gap State Park, Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, and other lands protected by SCPRT, Naturaland Trust, TNC, and Conserving Carolina.

“We are honored to help protect and steward this scenic land in northern Greenville and are grateful to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism for entrusting the protection of its important natural resources to our land trust,” said Scott Park, Glenn Hilliard Director of Land Conservation for Upstate Forever.

Scott Park spots an interesting mushroom on this recently protected property.

Although not currently open to the public for outdoor recreation, future public access is planned to help meet growing demand for natural areas and expanded park access along the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

“The protection of the White Tract property is coming at a time when outdoor space has never been more treasured, and outdoor recreation demand is at an all-time high,” said SCPRT Director, Duane Parrish. “We are grateful to Upstate Forever for their partnership on this effort, and we look forward to welcoming visitors when public access is available. Our Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area offers some of South Carolina’s best hiking and most scenic mountain views, and protecting the White Tract property ensures the land will be available for generations of South Carolinians to enjoy.”

The White Tract contains the headwaters of the Middle Saluda River.

In addition to serving as future park lands, the protection of the White Tract will contribute to the conservation of water resources and habitat for plants and wildlife. The property contains the headwaters of the Middle Saluda River with critical waters for reproducing trout populations. It is entirely forested with pine and hardwood canopy with an understory of rhododendron, mountain laurel, silverbell, and American holly.

Since its inception in 1998, Upstate Forever’s nationally accredited land trust has permanently protected nearly 28,000 acres through voluntary conservation easements in partnership with landowners and other conservation organizations across the ten Upstate South Carolina counties of Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union.

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