Archived Outdoors

Clean water grants fund WNC projects

out waterwaysWestern North Carolina won big in the newest round of grants from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund. The fund, whose goal is to conserve environmentally important land and waterways, gave out $12.7 million total to fund 38 projects state-wide. 


• A Haywood County project by The Conservation Fund got $1 million for a project to protect 570 acres containing 7,342 linear feet of riparian buffer along Carpenter Branch and Fie Creek in the French Broad River Basin near Maggie Valley. The total project cost is $2.7 million, and TCF had requested $1.6 million of that from the CWMTF. TCF plans to transfer the property to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for natural resource conservation and management. Until then, the property will have public access for passive interpretive trail use. 

• A Macon County project by Land Trust for the Little Tennessee got $439,520 to protect 1,690 linear feet of land along the Little Tennesee River and 650 linear feet along a tributary stream to the river. The Smarr property fronts conserved land on the opposite riverbank to the south and is adjacent to N.C. Needmore Game Lands on portions of its east and west boundary. The property has recently been logged, creating early successional habitat, which is limited in WNC. By protecting the tract. LTLT will be able to manage the land to protect bird and wildife species in need of early successional habitat and to build on more than a decade of work to protect the riparian buffer and floodplain of the Little Tennessee River north of Franklin. 

• A pair of projects in Swain County won awards to protect its land. 

• The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission got $270,000 to protect the 128-acre Allen tract, which is adjacent to Needmore Game Land about 6 miles outside Bryson City. The land will be enrolled in the Game Lands Program as part of Needmore Game Land, and its acquisition will help insure future protection of critical wildlife and aquatic habitats of that portion of the Little Tennessee River. The acquisition will also increase the riparian buffer to 300 feet, adding an additional 4.5 acres of buffer. The remainder of the tract consists of upland habitats. 

• Swain County won $234,565 to acquire 28.452 acres of property located off of Hyatt Creek Road in Bryson City, an area called Inspiration Point. The property is one of the largest undeveloped areas in eastern Swain County and is located between two bends of the Tuckasegee River just east of Bryson City. Inspiration Point is well-known in WNC as the site of regular gospel concerts from a group called The Inspirations. The acquisition will create the first public park land in the eastern half of the county while protecting a unique land and county cultural historic resource. The site could also serve as the future site of gospel festival gatherings and other events. 

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