MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCBD&AP) – The Nature Conservancy has signed an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to protect 900 acres of woodlands in Charleston County.
The Nature Conservancy raised the $8 million to buy the tract nine years ago. The Conservancy received a grant of $4 million from the Charleston County Greenbelt Bank and $500,000 from the South Carolina Conservation Bank to help fund the purchase. The remaining $3.5 million was raised through private fundraising by the Conservancy.
The land is along U.S. 17 across from the historic Tibwin Plantation house near McClellanville. It’s now part of the Francis Marion National Forest.
The Nature Conservancy has spent the nine years clearing commercially grown pines and replacing them with longleaf pines. It’s also conducted controlled burns and weeding as part of the effort to restore the longleaf savanna and wetlands.
In Colonial times, longleaf pine covered more than 60 million acres of the coastal plain. By the 1990s, there was little more than 3 million acres.