CHARLESTON, SC (April 12, 2022)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the successful protection of its third property in a growing 5,000-acre conservation assemblage in Jasper County adjacent to Hilton Head Island and Savannah.
Conservation of the 929-acre parcel secures essential wildlife habitat and will create additional public land within one of the state’s fastest-growing regions. All three conservation projects were completed in less than a year and total more than 5,000 acres in Jasper County. OSI intends to transfer the property to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) as funding comes available.
The property, which features mature productive wetlands, is adjacent to and builds upon the OSI’s historic acquisitions of the 3,800-acre “Slater” and 336-acre “Slater Duck Ponds” parcels. The newly protected 929-acre property further expands gopher tortoise habitat established by OSI’s conservation of the original Slater property, which is home to one of the largest colonies of gopher tortoises in the eastern United States. The land also contains habitat conducive for the potential reintroduction of the federally endangered Red-Cockaded Woodpecker.
The three OSI-protected properties are within a 30-minute drive from Savannah, Hilton Head, and Beaufort, and are located in one of America’s most biologically diverse yet fastest-growing regions. The conservation of the more than 5,000 acres offers opportunities for hunting, fishing, birding, hiking, and cycling in an area where the nearest similar public preserve is almost an hour away.