New Conservation Easement on the Pettigrew Tract along Lowther's Lake will Permanently Protect 1,044 Acres of Forestland in Darlington County
On September 22, 2016, Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) finalized its agreement with Murray Tract, LLC to permanently protect 1,044 acres of forestland in Darlington County. With over 1,000 acres of forested wetlands, bottomland hardwood forests, pine flatwoods, and cypress-tupelo swamps, the Pettigrew Tract contains significant wildlife habitat for a variety of species. In addition, the protected property is situated upstream of Whipple Landing on Lowther’s Lake, a public access oxbow lake maintained by the SC Department of Natural Resources and utilized by fishermen and paddlers. The agreement will keep the property in large tracts, helping to ensure that it will remain available for growing timber as well as recreational uses such as hunting and fishing.
Frank Beidler, a representative for the landowners, noted that “Murray Tract LLC is thrilled to be able to partner with Pee Dee Land Trust to help preserve this beautiful land in perpetuity. Special thanks to Tim Dargan, Angus Lafaye (Milliken Forestry), and especially to Seth Cook for putting the pieces together to make this happen.”
Through the use of permanent agreements, PDLT and landowners work as partners to ensure that land use activities on private property are limited in order to preserve key conservation values which benefit the public. These values include open space such as rural scenic views along roads and rivers, habitat for wildlife including game and non-game species, and the protection of farm and forest land to ensure it remains in farming and forestry rather than being converted to other uses. PDLT is proud to have partnered with the South Carolina Conservation Bank to make this important project possible.
“We are very lucky in the Pee Dee to be blessed with a beautiful natural landscape. Because of the efforts of the Pee Dee Land Trust and the South Carolina Conservation Bank, another important and beautiful area of our State will be preserved for generations to come”, said South Carolina State Senator Hugh K. Leatherman.
David Harper, Executive Director of PDLT, commented that “Lowther’s Lake is a cherished community asset for boating, fishing, and enjoyment of nature. Conservation of the Pettigrew Tract ensures that a significant block of natural and managed forest will continue to grace the north end of this scenic oxbow lake.”
With the Pettigrew Tract as the latest addition, Pee Dee Land Trust has now protected over 24,800 acres in the Pee Dee Region. While remaining in private ownership, the lands protected through conservation easements held by PDLT ensure that special places will be available for farming, forestry, and recreation for future generations.
Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) works in nine counties of the Pee Dee region in South Carolina: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg. Its mission is to protect, and to promote an appreciation of, the significant natural, agricultural, and historical resources of the Pee Dee Region through voluntary land conservation and educational programs. PDLT has a toolbox full of options to help landowners who are interested in conservation such as accepting donations of land or conservation easements. You do not have to own land to join PDLT’s conservation community; you can join today as an annual member, volunteer, donate in-kind gifts to our fundraisers. Visit our website for more information at www.peedeelandtrust.org.