The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is among several state agencies that will manage vital natural heritage areas acquired through recent grants of $16.26 million from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
The Clean Water Management Trust Fund board made 30 awards at its December meeting, including $2.55 million to the Wildlife Commission for acquisition of additional lands in Columbus, Randolph and Ashe counties.
Approved funding includes $1.5 million toward acquiring the Riverstone Project, an 18,000-acre property south of Lake Waccamaw, in Columbus County. The Commission is attempting to obtain the property in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. The Riverstone Project supports several nationally significant natural areas and multiple endemic species.
A request of $192,000 was approved for the Birkhead tract in Randolph County. Acquisition of this property, in partnership with the Land Trust for Central North Carolina and the National Wild Turkey Federation, will add 288 acres to Uwharrie Game Land adjacent to the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness Area.
The Sherrill tract in Ashe County was funded in the amount of $861,000. This acquisition will add 205 acres to Three Top Mountain Game Land and will greatly improve public access.
“We appreciate the opportunity to provide stewardship for such important areas,”said Isaac Harrold, the Commission’s lands program manager. “These properties represent critical habitats for numerous species, as well as additional access and recreational opportunities for game land users.”
The Clean Water Management Trust grants have restored and protected thousands of acres of wetlands and forestland that have protected habitat for fish and wildlife, providing a rich resource for hunters and anglers. Learn more about the Clean Water Management Trust Fund at www.cwmtf.net.
The Wildlife Commission manages more than 2 million acres as game lands, for hunters, anglers, trappers and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Learn more about game lands, and hunting and fishing opportunities at www.ncwildlife.org.
Article produced by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.