REGIONAL: Three Rivers Land Trust protects 350 acres in Montgomery

Thanks to an acquisition made by Three Rivers Land Trust on Dec. 21, an additional 350 acres of land along the Little River in Montgomery County will be permanently conserved.

Bald eagles, river otters, great blue herons, little green herons, beaver, cormorant, white tailed deer, a plethora of Neotropical migratory songbirds and many other species make their homes on the Little River.

There are several river put-in locations open to the public that make this river easily accessible, and a popular spot for kayaking and fishing in the Piedmont.

“Three Rivers Land Trust has a focus on protecting local waters, and the Little River in Montgomery County is no exception to that rule,” Three Rivers Land Trust Executive Director Travis Morehead said. “Last year we acquired 90 acres on the river, and earlier this year, we worked with another landowner to conserve 80 acres through conservation easement. Now we’ve acquired an additional 350 acres, ensuring that these sections of the river remain undeveloped and forested to protect water quality. Altogether, this represents over 3.5 miles of frontage on the river that is now permanently conserved as a direct result of TRLT’s efforts.”

“This section of the Little River where these 350 acres occur is identified as a High Quality Watershed by the State of North Carolina, with six different species of rare mussel known from here, as well as Carolina redhorse and Carolina darter, two state listed fish species,” added Associate Director Crystal Cockman. “In addition, there are unique natural communities found on this land, including Piedmont Basic Glade and Piedmont Coastal Plain Heath Bluff, as well as a rare plant, Mountain Camelia. These lands are truly a treasure worth conserving in our region.”

This acquisition was made possible through a donation by Fred and Alice Stanback, and grants from the NC Land and Water Fund, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Enviva Forest Conservation Fund.