AP NEWS

More land protected in Marlboro County by Pee Dee Land Trust

March 26, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – On Dec. 27, Pee Dee Land Trust (PDLT) finalized a conservation easement agreement with Catherine Rogers on two of her properties in Marlboro County totaling 155 acres.

The English Place and Townsend Place are portions of family land that Rogers inherited and now uses primarily for timber production. The conservation easements protect 132 acres of soils that are important for agricultural and timber production in addition to wildlife habitat present in the managed pine woods and small-stream hardwood forests.

“In the late 1700s, some of my ancestors landed by boat near Wilmington, North Carolina, and were directed by a sign which stated that the best farmland could be found 100 miles up the Cape Fear River,” Rogers said. “They made their way to parts of Marlboro and Dillon counties, where they built their homes using the abundant old growth pine trees and made a livelihood farming the land.

“At that time wolves roamed the countryside in such numbers that the farmers had to house their sheep indoors for protection at night. We cannot imagine that world today as our environment has changed. But in our 21st century, we are still surrounded with our area’s best resources – our beautiful countryside, farm and timberland, rivers, ponds and numerous wildlife. In time it will grow more precious to us especially if we care to protect it now.

“By planning to prevent any adverse changes that could negatively alter its beauty or use, we leave a precious commodity for the generations that follow. With my decision of placing the land that I inherited from my ancestors in a Conservation Easement with Pee Dee Land Trust, I hope to encourage other land owners in the Pee Dee Watershed to join me.”

The English Place and Townsend Place are part of a larger network of protected farm and forest lands that ensure habitat connectivity and open space. The protection of these properties will further conservation and protect migratory corridors for wildlife in support of regional and national bird conservation efforts, in particularly those for quail and waterbirds.

With the addition of these two properties, PDL now partners with private landowners on 13 conservation easements totaling 5,665 acres across Marlboro County.

“Working forest lands are a critical part of this region’s economy and cultural heritage. Protecting land while ensuring that it can remain in active forest management has multiple benefits and is at the heart of our work,” said Seth Cook, PDLT’s director of land protection. “It was intriguing to learn about Catherine’s family’s history and to help plan a portion of her legacy through her conservation easements.”