DNR Purchases, Protects 357 Acres in York County

Representatives attending the dedication of the Herb Kirsh Wildlife Conservation Area included (L to R) Rep. Dennis Moss (D-District 29), Rep. Herb Kirsh (D-District 47), Sen. Robert W. Hayes (R-York), and Sen. Harvey Peeler (R-York).

The Herb Kirsh Wildlife Conservation Area was dedicated in a special public ceremony on Friday, May 4, 2007, in York County.

The Kirsh tract is York’s sixth such preserve and managed by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in addition to Draper Wildlife Management Area, James Ross Wildlife Reservation, McConnells Tract, Worth Mountain Wildlife Management Area and Rock Hill Blackjacks Heritage Preserve.

The tract was acquired by the DNR in October 2004 as a joint venture between the DNR and York County as a special project of the York County Sportsmen’s Steering Committee with support from the York County Legislative Delegation. It was purchased with County Game and Fish Funds and other monies provided by the County of York.

“South Carolinians will enjoy public access for hunting, fishing and other wildlife related activities on the Herb Kirsh Wildlife Conservation Area near McConnells,” according to regional biologist Jeff Witt. “Thanks to York County’s long standing commitment to conservation, this recreational land and wildlife habitat is now in public hands and protected in perpetuity.”

The tract consists of approximately 357 acres and lies about 5.5 miles west of the town of McConnells on N. Burris Road in York County. Turkey Creek bisects the tract and thus provides a wide bottomland habitat of scattered hardwoods. The remaining acreage is comprised mostly of planted loblolly pine.

Future plans include pine stand thinnings and development of wildlife openings. Parking areas have already been constructed. Hunting is allowed within Game Zone 2 regulations. The tract was named after York County Rep. Herb Kirsh, a noted steward of County Game and Fish Funds who has held a long-term goal of land acquisition.

“The project is especially significant because similar tracts in the area are rapidly being split and sold,” according to Witt. “The tract is located within 45 minutes of the greater Charlotte area and Rock Hill, one of the most rapidly developing areas in the nation. The dedication of the Herb Kirsh Wildlife Conservation Area is the celebration of a vision to conserve and protect our wild and natural areas. A vision that reaches well into the future.”

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