Conservation is a process – A step-at-a-time, often complicated process. Like a snowflake, each conservation project is truly unique. As we endeavor to fulfill our mission to secure the region’s most conservation-worthy tracts for future generations, we carefully navigate this complex process with landowners. Quilting together various pieces for a contiguous protected landscape requires patience and diligence, as recently demonstrated in the Little Pisgah Mountain region along the continental divide at the Buncombe/Henderson County line.
On Monday, July 23, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy accepted donation of a 15-acre conservation easement in Fairview, NC. The tract is part of an assemblage of protected properties that together preserve the summit and north face of Little Pisgah Mountain. These tracts join with neighboring conservation easements and other preserves to protect over 1,400 acres of land around Little Pisgah.
“Ridgelines are a threatened resource, and conserving them is important to ensure the future enjoyment of our beautiful land,” said landowner Paul Morgan. “I really appreciate the efforts of SAHC toward preserving the ridgeline at Little Pisgah Mountain.”
Visible from Chimney Rock State Park and a state scenic byway, the property adjoins six parcels protected by SAHC in December 2011. It is also in close proximity to other conservation properties, including Bearwallow Mountain and the Florence Preserve. Although a relatively small parcel, the new easement is important because it adds to this contiguous protected landscape in the Blue Ridge Mountains, helping to preserve the rural scenic quality for visitors and local residents alike.
The conservation easement permanently protects high elevation pastures and forestland from future development, and will help protect tributary streams of the Broad River watershed from sedimentation and other types of pollution.