Pee Dee Land Trust Completes its First Project in Chesterfield County

 Pee Dee Land Trust Completes its First Project in Chesterfield County

JEF - loblolly pine stand webNovember, 2015 – After 15 years Pee Dee Land Trust (“PDLT”) reached a milestone of completing its first conservation project in Chesterfield County by partnering with Knowlton (K.W.) Johnson to establish a conservation easement on the Johnson Experimental Forest (“JEF”).  Dr. Johnson (Ph.D.) grew up on the property and has strong ties to it.  He took the initiative to consolidate the land under his ownership by acquiring his sibling’s interest.  JEF is a unique property that is being managed as a tree farm under the American Tree Farm System while also being used as a place for experimental forestry work in collaboration with the Clemson University Forestry Department.  The property includes 227 acres of varying aged loblolly pine, longleaf pine, and bottomland hardwoods.  Several stands of loblolly and longleaf have been planted using new techniques for purposes of demonstration and research.  The conservation agreement put in place will keep the property in one piece and as a working tree farm.  Seth Cook, Director of Land Conservation with PDLT, commented that “it feels good to get an initial project in Chesterfield, especially one with the characteristics that support the Sandhills Longleaf Pine Conservation Partnership objectives of longleaf pine restoration and management.”

JEFpond webThe conservation agreement made with Dr. Johnson meets his objectives by placing limitations on subdivision, development, and commercial activities with the intention of keeping the property in forestry and recreational uses.  Other objectives of JEF are conservation of wildlife and water resources as well a research and education.  In 2015, Dr. Johnson received one of three S.C. district Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year awards.  He shared his thoughts about establishing a conservation easement with PDLT, “This easement seems to be a perfect fit for preserving the property and enhancing the environment. I want to leave a legacy in honor of my parents, Hazel and N.W. (Fish) Johnson.”



JEF - group shot web
Forester Corey Flowers, PDLT board member Andrew McLeod, PDLT staff Seth Cook,
and landowner Knowlton Johnson pause for a photo during a tour of JEF. 
To date, PDLT now protects over 21,700 acres in the Pee Dee Region.  While remaining in private ownership, the lands protected by PDLT ensure that special places will be available for farming, forestry, and recreation well into the future. 


The Pee Dee Land Trust works in the nine counties that touch the Great Pee Dee River 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. For more information, see





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