REGIONAL: Three Rivers Land Trust has Wolf Den Connector ribbon cutting

Published 1:47 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

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On May 23, approximately 30 attendees came out to a ribbon cutting to celebrate the transfer of an 8-acre parcel that was purchased and protected by Three Rivers Land Trust in Fall of 2021, and then transferred earlier this year to the Uwharrie National Forest. The significance of this tract is that it is surrounded by US Forest Service Land, and a portion of the Wolf Den Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail goes through this previously private property.

The Wolf Den OHV trail a is part of the 17 miles of 4-wheel drive trails in the Badin Lake OHV Trail complex in the Uwharrie National Forest. At 2-miles long with beginner friendly terrain, Wolf Den is often a starting place for those looking to explore the OHV trails. With a portion of the Wolf Den trail crossing private property, the public was at risk of losing access if TRLT did not acquire the property.

Supporting this acquisition was the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative, which promotes safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas.

“It’s super exciting to be able to support the land managers in acquiring this piece of property to ensure that the accessibility will remain for years to come,” said Mike Keller, marketing strategy project manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA.

Keller expressed his hopes of continuing to partner with TRLT and USFS on additional projects in the Uwharrie Region in the future.

USFS representative Kimberly Rust spoke about the importance of protecting this property, which was a critical inholding for the Forest Service in the Badin Recreation Area.

“Now that we have this land,” she stated, “we have the potential to get the trailhead moved a little to get it out of the road intersection, so it’s a big win or safety as well.”

This move would provide additional parking and a safer place to park vehicles at this popular trailhead.

TRLT Executive Director Travis Morehead spoke about the importance of this project, emphasizing that transferring tracts into public access is a core tenant of TRLT’s mission. Since 1995, TRLT has transferred more than 8,600 acres of land into public ownership, including State Parks, local parks, Gamelands, and National Forest, providing safe and accessible land for a wide variety of user groups.