In northwest Madison County, 541 secluded acres of forest filter miles of clean mountain streams that once provided drinking water to town residents. We worked with the Town of Marshall to permanently protect the Marshall Watershed property with a conservation easement — our sixth project to conserve municipal watershed lands. The Clean Water Management Trust Fund awarded SAHC a grant to protect this tract and its outstanding water resources.
“The Town of Marshall has been committed for years to preserving the Marshall Watershed from development,” said town attorney Jamie Stokes, on behalf of the Town of Marshall. “We are proud to have finalized this project, with the assistance and dedication of SAHC, so that this beautiful landscape and the natural resources thereon will be preserved for many generations to come.”
The Marshall Watershed is located in the Walnut Mountains, adjoining 156 acres already secured by an SAHC conservation easement and near a network of almost 100,000 protected acres in Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests.
With an impressive eight miles of streams flowing through the property, including Hunter Creek and its tributaries, this conservation easement will help assure that water flowing from the property into the French Broad River will always be pure.
Mature forest habitat across the tract creates ample opportunity for native plants and wildlife to flourish, and many trees onsite were estimated to be 100 years old. The property contains Rich Montane Seeps, a type of non-boggy mountain wetland community that provides important amphibian habitat.
“This conservation easement required substantial collective effort by many people and agencies over the course of half a decade,” said SAHC executive director Carl Silverstein. “It was made possible by a grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, a generous philanthropic gift from Fred and Alice Stanback, partial donation of the value of the conservation easement by the Town of Marshall, and an Environmental Enhancement Grant from the NC Dept. of Justice.”
This is the SAHC’s sixth conservation easement conserving a municipal watershed lands. Similar easements protect the Weaverville Watershed (2017), Woodfin Watershed (2005), Waynesville Watershed (2005) and Canton Watershed (2003), and assistance by SAHC with the Asheville watershed conservation easement held by the Conservation Trust for NC in 1996 and 2013.