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Floodplains and Highlands: Two New Protected Tracts in North Carolina

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy jointly acquired 466 acres in the Cane Creek Mountains of Avery and Mitchell Counties. The tract is within a nationally significant natural area in the Greater Roan Highlands focal area. It tops out at 5,504 feet in elevation, and is comprised of high elevation red oak forests, several rare plants, and a few large openings. It connects to other conserved lands to the north. 

In addition, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission added the “Coweeta Bottoms” (48 acres) to the Needmore Game Land area (~4,600 acres). The new tract is bottomland floodplain and a riparian zone along more than one mile of river frontage along the Little Tennessee River in Macon County, NC. Habitat restoration is needed to address the fescue fields and multiflora rose thickets, but native Arundinaria river cane persists on-site, and once restored, the site will offer quality floodplain habitats to several priority species.