MONTGOMERY COUNTY, NC (June 20, 2017)—With support from the Open Space Institute’s Resilient Landscapes Initiative, the LandTrust for Central North Carolina has protected the Barnes Creek Headwaters Property in central North Carolina. Preservation of the climate-resilient land protects downstream water quality and supports biodiversity, including several species of rare mussels.
Stretching over 180 acres in Montgomery County, the property includes the headwaters of Barnes Creek, which is designated an outstanding resource water, the highest water quality designation given in North Carolina. In addition to the rare mussels, the site is also home to mixed hardwood forest, which provides wildlife habitat for species such as the eastern box turtle and timber rattlesnake.
OSI selected the land for protection under its Resilient Landscapes Initiative since the property helps to 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 LandTrust for Central North Carolina on this outstanding achievement.”
“The LandTrust is pleased to have worked with the landowner to protect this special property,” said 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 N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund is one of the grant agencies that contributed to the protection of the Barnes Creek project. Established in 1996 to help finance projects that address water quality issues, the fund supports 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.