Alcoa game land to be permanently protected

The recent purchase of 2,463 acres includes 45 miles of shoreline along the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers in Davie, Davidson and Rowan counties. (Photo: Larry Hale)

2,463 Acres Acquired, Funding Sought to Purchase Additional 2,420 Acres

The NCWRC and Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) are excited to announce the recent purchase of 2,463 acres including 45 miles of shoreline along the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers in Davie, Davidson and Rowan counties. The Commission and Three Rivers Land Trust worked together to raise the 7.7 million dollars needed to make this purchase a reality.

This collaborative effort brought federal, state, non-profit, family foundation partners and generous private donors together. Partner agencies include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program, N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), Ducks Unlimited in association with Wrangler, N.C. Chapter of the NWTF, Duke Energy, Nancy Stanback, Fred and Alice Stanback, Eddie Smith, Jr., and The Cannon Foundation.

This purchase took place pursuant to the 2007 Yadkin River Relicensing Settlement Agreement (RSA) in which Alcoa offered the State of North Carolina and/or Three Rivers Land Trust (formerly The Land Trust for Central North Carolina) the opportunity to purchase these lands for conservation purposes.

Land provides quality wildlife habitat

“Many of the parcels have been open for hunting, fishing and wildlife-associated recreation as a part of our game lands program for more than 30 years,” stated Brian McRae, Land and Water Access Chief. “We are thrilled to permanently protect this land that provides high quality wildlife habitat, public recreational opportunities and protects water quality in the Yadkin River basin.”

“Conserving these lands along the Yadkin River was foremost in the minds of Land Trust founders going all the way back to 1995. Our staff and donors worked diligently towards this moment for the past 24 years” stated Travis Morehead, Executive Director, Three Rivers Land Trust. “We are proud to have helped NC WRC permanently conserve these lands for generations of North Carolinians to enjoy.”

“Protecting such a significant stretch of the Yadkin River will help maintain and improve the river’s water quality,” stated Walter Clark, Executive Director of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. “The combination of conserving the river for its environmental and recreational benefit fits perfectly with the Fund’s mission.”

While conserving this land is certainly a milestone that is worth celebrating, there is little time to rest and enjoy this monumental achievement. An additional 2,420 acres that are currently enrolled in the NCWRC Game Lands Program and span 31 miles of frontage along the eastern shore of the Tuckertown Reservoir is owned by Alcoa and also is subject to the Yadkin River RSA.

The Commission and Three Rivers Land Trust have until September of 2021 to raise 8.5 million dollars needed to purchase these lands to ensure that they stay publicly accessible for the generations to come. If you are interested in supporting this project contact Commission Land Acquisition Manager Jessie Birckhead at 919-707-0066 or Three Rivers Land Trust Executive Director Travis Morehead at 704-647-0302.

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