A small but critical tract of protected land along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Cumberland Knob is now the property of the National Park Service thanks to a donation by the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, which acquired the land last year.
“In times when government has limited resources to protect critical land and water resources, the work of local conservation groups like CTNC is essential to our ability to safeguard the special charm of the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor,” said Phil Francis, Parkway superintendent.
CTNC transferred the 12.7-acre tract near Milepost 220.6, called Roaring Fork Headwaters II, to the National Park Service (NPS) in early March. It joins two more properties in the area that were also protected by CTNC and donated to NPS for inclusion in the Parkway’s official corridor. They are:
• Saddle Mountain Vista, a 201-acre property acquired by CTNC in 2004 with help from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund and donated to the NPS in 2007.
• Roaring Fork Headwaters I, a 49-acre tract purchased by CTNC in 2009 and donated to the NPS in 2010.
All three properties are highly visible from several Parkway vantage points including the Fox Hunters Paradise Overlook in the Cumberland Knob National Recreation Area. CTNC purchased Roaring Fork Headwaters II in August 2011.
All three properties contain headwater streams of Roaring Fork, a tributary of the Fisher River, and headwaters of the Yadkin River, which provides drinking water for a million people in the North Carolina Piedmont, including residents of Winston-Salem.
The three properties are part of a growing landscape of protected land in the area. They lie north of the 3,400-acre Saddle Mountain Wilderness area and south of the 1,000-acre Cumberland Knob National Recreation Area.
Financial support for the purchase of Roaring Fork Headwaters II was provided by the Cannon Foundation, the John and Anna Hanes Foundation, the Tom and Elaine Wright Family Fund, the Park Foundation, other private donors, and the N.C. Environmental Enhancement Grants Program.
Two other land trusts that work in the region – Blue Ridge Conservancy and Piedmont Land Conservancy – have partnered with CTNC on previous land protection projects in the vicinity but were not involved in this transaction.
The Conservation Trust for North Carolina is dedicated to protecting the Blue Ridge Parkway’s natural and scenic corridor. CTNC has protected more than 30,000 acres in more than 40 locations along the Parkway.
We also promote, represent and assist North Carolina’s 23 local land trusts so that they can protect more land in the communities they serve. Land trusts preserve land and water resources to safeguard your way of life. We work in local communities to ensure critical lands are protected for clean drinking water, recreation, tourism, and working farms and forests.Read the full article