Building a network of conservation lands at “the Point”

Salisbury-based Three Rivers Land Trust adds 82 acres to Davie/Rowan land
TRLT says its most recent acquisition, which closed on November 16, 2022, adds an additional 82...
TRLT says its most recent acquisition, which closed on November 16, 2022, adds an additional 82 acres in Davie County onto this important complex of conservation lands.(Three Rivers Land Trust)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:12 PM EST
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Over the past 24 years, through a dozen different acquisitions, Salisbury-based Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) has acquired a total acreage of 1,649 acres in the vicinity of the confluence of the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers in an area affectionately known as “The Point.”

TRLT has announced the most recent acquisition, which closed on November 16, 2022. According to a news release, it adds an additional 82 acres in Davie County onto this important complex of conservation lands.

This area has incredible natural and cultural resources, from mature hardwood forest, working agricultural lands, to the rich Native American heritage of this area. The very first purchase was made in 1999 on a tract known as the South Yadkin Refuge in Rowan County. Purchasing lands in this area has been a priority of TRLT for the past 20 years. Many of these acquisitions began with a property owner reaching out to explore their options for protecting their land from development.

“Ninety-percent of our work is reactionary,” states Crystal Cockman, TRLT Associate Director. “We worked with great folks that cared more about the land than financial gain.”

In 2011, the acquisition of the Springer Property, located at the confluence of the Yadkin and South Yadkin in Davie County, served as the lynchpin for this entire assemblage. Many of these acquisitions were funded through private donations that helped to leverage both state and federal grant dollars.

Former TRLT employee Andy Abramson, now an attorney at Woodson Sayers Law Firm in Salisbury, who still works with TRLT to close conservation projects, reflects on this project with nostalgia.

“It is so exciting to see another property along the Yadkin River and South Yadkin River Corridor come into permanent conservation. This property is another integral piece of the puzzle. Over 20 years ago we launched the “Two Rivers Preserve Project”, with a goal of bringing as many of the properties in this vicinity as possible into permanent conservation, because of its importance to wildlife and water quality. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined all those years ago that the dream of conserving these lands would ultimately come to fruition due to the gracious conservation ethic of many landowners and the tireless work of the Three Rivers Land Trust. The work that TRLT has done, and the accomplishments they have achieved are truly unbelievable. We are incredibly fortunate to have them leading the way in land conservation efforts in the Piedmont and Sandhills of North Carolina.”

The largest acquisitions took place in 2019, when approximately 2,400 acres and 45 miles of shoreline were conserved in this area thru a partnership with TRLT and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC).

“With almost $2 million that TRLT raised to help the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission acquire the now “Yadkin River Gamelands” which adjoin the Point Property, we have made a huge impact on providing wildlife habitat and increasing public access,” states Executive Director Travis Morehead. “Building a block of conservation lands of this size in such a rapidly developing part of North Carolina is truly a conservation achievement we are proud of.”

Support for this newest acquisition came from Fred and Alice Stanback and other TRLT donors.

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in their conservation mission, please contact Emily Callicutt, Land Protection Specialist at Three Rivers Land Trust by calling 704-647-0302 or by email at emily@trlt.org.