The LandTrust for Central North Carolina would like to announce the formal protection of the Barnes Creek Headwaters Property, 182 acres located in Montgomery County. This property possesses the headwaters of the pristine Barnes Creek, an outstanding resource water, which is the highest water quality designation given in North Carolina. Several species of rare mussel are found downstream of the property. The site is also home to mixed hardwood forest, which provides wildlife habitat for species such as eastern box turtle and timber rattlesnake.
“The LandTrust is pleased to have worked with the landowner to protect this special property,” states Executive Director Travis Morehead. “This site will now remain as a forested property for the benefit of wildlife species and water quality. Located in the heart of the Uwharrie National Forest, this property builds off a base of already conserved lands, which provides more conservation value for the effort.”
The North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) is one of the grant agencies that contributed to the protection of the Barnes Creek Headwaters project. CWMTF was established in 1996 to help finance projects that address water quality issues. Specifically CWMTF funds projects that enhance or restore degraded waters, protect unpolluted waters, contribute toward a network of riparian buffers and greenways, provide buffers around military bases, acquire land that represents the ecological diversity of North Carolina, and acquire land that contributes to the development of a balanced state program of historic properties. The latter two goals were added since the dissolution of the North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund and its objectives were merged with CWMTF.
Through its Southeast Resilient Landscapes Fund, the Open Space Institute (OSI) has provided grant funding for the Barnes Creek Headwaters project, as well. The Resilient Landscapes Initiative is designed to help land trusts and public agencies strategically protect places that are most likely to endure over the long term in the face of a changing climate.
“The resiliency of the Barnes Creek Headwaters Property will make it an invaluable haven for wildlife and human communities as the climate changes,” said Peter Howell, OSI’s executive vice president in charge of the Conservation Capital Program. “This project demonstrates the important role that land conservation can play in protecting places not just important for today, but also far into the future. OSI commends The Land Trust for Central North Carolina on this outstanding achievement.”