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500-acre Cedar Rock easement transferred to Upstate Forever

October 15th, 2020

Recently, The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina transferred a 500-acre conservation easement to Upstate Forever. This protected property, called Cedar Rock, is located in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains adjacent to the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. The property has been under a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy since 1995, and part of the property is owned by Naturaland Trust.

By assuming the conservation easement, Upstate Forever’s nationally accredited land trust will take on the responsibility of conducting yearly stewardship visits to ensure the terms of the agreement are being upheld.

“We’re proud to steward 162 conservation easements statewide, totaling more than 180,000 acres, and grateful for trusted partners like Upstate Forever that we can rely on to continue that good work,” says Katy Malloy, Director of Land Protection for The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina. “Transferring this easement will help us continue to conserve critical lands in the future, such as the 14,000 acres in new easements we protected in the past year.” 

“This is an exciting development for our land trust,” said Christina Sprecher, Land Stewardship Manager at Upstate Forever. “The Nature Conservancy has stewarded this property for 25 years, and has done a wonderful job preserving what makes Cedar Rock such a beautiful and ecologically critical place. We are honored to accept this easement transfer, and to ensure that this special property is protected in perpetuity.” 

Cedar Rock is bordered on the north, northwestern and northeastern sides by property owned by the State of SC, including two properties under conservation easements with Upstate Forever (Grassy Top Mountain and Jones Gap Expansion). Falls Creek and Little Falls Creek run through portions of the property and Falls Creek is one of only 12 creeks in South Carolina where native brook trout live. The property is rich in habitat for black bears, Eastern big-eared bats, and certain rare plants. The western boundary is part of a public trail from Jones Gap State Park to Falls Creek Falls.

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