January 10, 2011 by staff
DURHAM – January 4, 2011 – sculptors Creek state park continues to grow – thanks to The Nature Conservancy. Conservation of 1.261 acres recently moved to Cumberland County to the Division of the North Carolina Parks and Recreation.
Earlier this year, the Conservancy transferred 1,435-acre farm in Harnett County Rockefeller State. The Conservancy has protected 4,181 acres in Cumberland and Harnett counties, which are now part of sculptors Creek state park.
“This magnificent property,” says Ryan Elting, Sandhills Conservation Program Director. “In the past year, we have restored over 620 acres of marsh is the point where they can be maintained with prescribed fire.”
Restored longleaf pine sculptors Creek State Park Photo © Ryan Elting / TNC
Elting said conservation would still need help on the property, assist the state to conduct prescribed burns. Longleaf pine is fire-dependent, fire needing to grow steadily. Fire suppression and development has significantly reduced stands of longleaf pine that once covered nearly a quarter of the state or about 7.2 million acres. Today it is estimated that wetlands cover less than 250,000 acres in North Carolina. Longleaf is especially important for peak endangered by the federal government red cckade, which makes its nest in the life of longleaf pine. Longleaf still holds a special place in the North Carolina official state toast famous “land of the longleaf pine” and the highest state civilian honor of the Order of longleaf pine.
Carvers Creek State Park was established by the General Assembly in North Carolina in 2005. The largest piece of the park is located off of U.S. 401 north of Fort Bragg in Fayetteville adjacent, protection of 2 ½ miles along the eastern border of the base.
“This property has been vital for the love of conservation – it contains vast forests mature longleaf pine and valuable habitats for wildlife, including red-cckaded woodpecker,” said Elting. “And it is also important for the military, the protection of Fort Bragg incompatible development, ensuring that the military can maintain its educational mission.”
Elting credits the Army for its commitment to conservation. “One third of the cost of this parcel of land was covered by the Department of Defense,” he said. “The army is conducting conservation on the front of the stage in the dunes. Two funds of the State Conservation Trust, the Natural Heritage Trust Fund and Parks and Recreation Trust Fund each contributed one third of the total price tag and 11.3.
Carvers Creek State Park is not yet open to the public, but the state has developed a master plan for the park and hired some staff. It is planned to open in 2012.
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