We purchased 101 acres in Garrett Cove, filling a gap in the network of more than 10,000 acres SAHC has protected in the vicinity of Sandy Mush. Settled by the Garrett family over 150 years ago, the cove is part of the cultural legacy of rugged and self-reliant individuals who homesteaded in the Newfound Mountains of the Southern Appalachians.
Located near the Buncombe/Haywood County border, this tract has been a conservation priority in Sandy Mush for several years. It adjoins three other SAHC-protected properties, and our purchasing and owning it adds to the network of protected conservation land in this historic farming community.
Six headwater streams originate on the property and flow into Sandy Mush Creek (classified as Trout waters by the NC Division of Water Resources). The tract contains Appalachian oak forest, as well as some notable rock outcrops that include a cave site. Elevations rising to 4,400 ft provide beautiful views into Haywood County and Crabtree Bald.
SAHC is proud to have purchased the Garrett Cove tract from Vance Garrett. Vance is a Sandy Mush landowner, naturalist, and local historian. His grandfather purchased the property over 100 years ago, and since then his family has used it for cattle grazing and enjoyment of nature. Vance is pleased that SAHC will protect this lovely piece of his family’s legacy in perpetuity.
Portions of the tract are currently used for cattle grazing through a license agreement with a neighboring landowner. We are working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to complete a Conservation Plan for the property, which includes providing alternate water sources for the cattle to help restore water quality onsite and downstream.
We plan to own and manage the property as a preserve for the long-term. “We thank Brad and Shelli Stanback for their generous donation to SAHC, which made this important acquisition possible,” said Executive Director Carl Silverstein.