160 Acres on Chattooga River (SC) Protected

Charlotte, NC, 9/24/01 – The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, has conveyed 160 acres of woodlands and pasture to the U.S. Forest Service for addition to Sumter National Forest in Oconee County, South Carolina. The former apple orchard is no longer actively harvested and was slated for sale to an out of state developer.

Despite competing offers from several developers, the current owners decided to sell their property to the Trust for Public Land for conservation as public open space. Under the stewardship of the Forest Service the pastoral landscape will now be returned to its natural, forested state for future generations to enjoy. “We are greatly indebted to the Ewing family for their generosity and commitment to protecting South Carolina’s natural resources for years to come,” said Maggie Clancy, project manager for the Trust for Public Land.

Protection of the Ewing property preserves the watershed of Long Creek, a primary tributary of the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River. Flowing more than 50 miles through North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, the Chattooga is one of the Southeast’s most popular recreation destinations, offering excellent trout fishing, challenging white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking, and spectacular wilderness scenery for hikers and campers. The Chattooga was designated a Wild and Scenic River by an act of Congress in 1974.

The Trust for Public Land’s Chattooga River Program, working in partnership with the US Forest Service, has protected more than 2,300 acres of the Chattooga’s watershed over ten years. The Ewing property is TPL’s 11th acquisition in this program, and its third project to protect the watershed of Long Creek. “We greatly appreciate the cooperation of the Trust for Public Land in helping to acquire this tract. It has great importance for our long-range goal of further enhancing the water quality of the Chattooga watershed,” said Ivan Cupp, of the U.S. Forest Service. Funding for protection of the Ewing property came from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The Trust for Public Land is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide, including more than 12,000 acres in South Carolina. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs. For more information, please visit www.tpl.org.