Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area in N.C. Nearly Doubles in Size

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Today, Alamance County Recreation & Parks, The Conservation Fund and Piedmont Land Conservancy announced the addition of 432 acres to the Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area in Snow Camp, North Carolina. The property, known as the Sizemore addition, will nearly double the size of the Natural Area, bringing it to roughly 1,000 acres of County-owned, protected, publicly accessible park land.

Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area opened to the public in May of 2020, providing access to Alamance County’s largest state-significant natural heritage area. The new Sizemore addition will expand hiking trails and opportunities for nature exploration.

“This acquisition protects one of the most unique and beautiful places in the Piedmont,” said Brian Baker, director of Alamance Parks. “Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area will be a tremendous boost to the health and happiness of Alamance County citizens as well as our local economy. We cannot wait to share this unspoiled land with the people of North Carolina.”

The Conservation Fund, a national environmental nonprofit, purchased the Sizemore addition in 2018 and held it until Alamance County could secure funding from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund to add it to their park system. The Conservation Fund also played an important role in the creation of Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area, securing land and raising private funding.

“Thousand-acre parks in the Piedmont are rare,” said Bill Holman, The Conservation Fund’s North Carolina state director. “This conservation effort at the Cane Creek Mountains not only provides new recreational opportunities, but it also protects habitat for wildlife and water quality for the community.”

Partners, including Alamance County Recreation & Parks, The Conservation Fund, and Piedmont Land Conservancy, helped establish the Natural Area and continue working to conserve the core of the Cane Creek Mountains. About halfway between the growing Piedmont Triad and Research Triangle regions, conserved open space like the Cane Creek Mountains is critical for wildlife habitat, ecological value, and water quality for local communities. The forested Sizemore addition is rich with carbon-capturing trees like Piedmont monadnock, dry oak-hickory, and longleaf pine—which was replanted on a portion of the property that had historically been longleaf pine habitat.

“Piedmont Land Conservancy’s stewardship director, Dr. Ken Bridle, was the first to recognize that the site may have once been home to longleaf pine,” said Kevin Redding, the Conservancy’s executive director. “We are thrilled to see the park created and the longleaf pine restoration as a major component.”

This project was funded by the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, formerly known as the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which helps improve water quality, sustain ecological diversity, and protect historic sites in the state. Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury, North Carolina, and Brad and Shelli Stanback of Canton, North Carolina also made generous donations to make this project possible. Support from North Carolina Senator Amy Scott Galey and State Representative Dennis Riddell also help ensure park conservation projects like this one can succeed.

“This beautiful and ecologically significant park will not only provide habitat and recreational opportunities, but it will also help protect the water quality of the Haw River and Jordan Lake,” said state Sen. Amy Galey. “I am proud that the park was created without county tax dollars, instead leveraging other resources. This is an outstanding investment for our children and all future generations.”

“North Carolina’s parks are among the most popular in the United States and are growing through the legislature’s financial commitments to land, water and recreation trust funds,” said state Rep. Dennis Riddell. “It is exciting to see this funding benefit Alamance County with a new acquisition for the Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area. I look forward to sharing our new outdoor recreation resources with others here in Alamance County as well as citizens from across our state.”

The North Carolina Park & Recreation Trust Fund provided matching funds to Alamance Parks to construct trails and open the park to the public. The North Carolina General Assembly appropriates funds to both the state’s Land and Water Fund and Parks & Recreation Trust Fund.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than eight million acres of land, including nearly 235,000 acres of beloved natural lands across North Carolina.

About Alamance Parks
Alamance Parks works to improve the quality of life of each of the 500,000 visitors we host at our 20 parks each year. Through our parks and programs, we encourage healthy lifestyles for children and adults, offer inclusive activities for all of our citizens, and provide access to the natural world. https://www.alamance-nc.com/recreation/

About Piedmont Land Conservancy
Piedmont Land Conservancy protects our region’s natural lands, farms, and waters for present and future generations. PLC connects people with nature. PLC has protected over 29,000 acres in 250 projects across its nine-county region of Alamance, Caswell, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin counties. To learn more about the Conservancy, and how you can support its efforts to protect farms, rivers, forests, wildlife habitat, and urban greenways and parks, visit www.piedmontland.org or call (336) 691-0088.

Media Contacts
Val Keefer | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5802 | vkeefer@conservationfund.org
Brian Baker | Alamance Parks | (336) 229-2229 | Brian.Baker@alamance-nc.com
Kevin Redding | Piedmont Land Conservancy | (336) 337-1831 | kredding@piedmontland.org

Carteret County News-Times: Thank you Rep. McElraft

A letter to the Carteret County News editor praising Representative McElraft’s leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.

TO THE EDITOR:

Thanks to the support of North Carolina Rep. Pat McElraft, family farms in eastern North Carolina will be preserved, military bases will be protected from encroaching development and North Carolinians will have more opportunities for outdoor recreational activities in the future.

The recently passed budget includes $22.7 million in additional money for the state’s conservation trust funds, including an additional $14.7 million for preserving working farms near military bases. Not only will this help protect our natural resources but will aid in the further development of our state’s economy.

As chair of the House Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Appropriations Committee, Rep. McElraft has been a strong supporter of funding for parks and recreation projects. She has been an advocate for restoring dedicated funding for the conservation trust funds and coastal storm damage mitigation funds. She has demonstrated her commitment to protecting our agricultural heritage and natural resources to make North Carolina a great place to live, work and visit.

In backing efforts to benefit North Carolinians, Rep. McElraft continues to show her dedication to the people of our state. We must continue to promote and develop our outdoor recreation and tourism industries, protect our military bases and increase our efforts to conserve water and land if we hope to uphold a North Carolina that future generations can be proud to call home. I believe Rep. McElraft will continue to be a key leader on these issues and thank her for her efforts.

Jane Rouse, Morehead City

Originally published on November 17, 2018.

Jacksonville Daily News: Senator Brown’s efforts not unnoticed

A letter to the Jacksonville Daily News editor praising Senator Brown’s leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.

To the editor:

With the recent adoption of the state budget, legislators have made a renewed commitment to our citizens that they are willing to protect our state’s natural resources and scenic beauty, while promoting rural economic development. Senator Harry Brown, a longtime champion for conservation, has worked tirelessly to protect our state’s military bases, water resources and farms and to provide resources for state and local park projects.

His support for an additional $22.7 million in the budget for the state’s three conservation trust funds will help protect working family farms and forest near military bases and promote rural economic development through expanded outdoor recreational opportunities. Under the leadership of Senator Brown, North Carolinians can have peace of mind knowing their favorite streams, rivers, and lakes will be protected.

Senator Brown wants our children and our children’s children to have the same beautiful North Carolina landscapes to admire as we do today, while also strengthening rural economies. Thanks to his efforts, outdoor recreation opportunities, military bases, farms and clean water will be here for generations of North Carolinians to come.

Billy Sewell, Jacksonville

Originally published on July 10, 2018

Times-News: Ross, Gunn help protect NC natural resources

A letter to the Times-News editor praising Representative Ross and Senator Gunn on their leadership to fund the conservation trust funds.

North Carolina lawmakers are fighting to preserve the qualities that make our state one of the top places to live, work and visit. The recently passed state budget will allocate an additional $22.7 million to North Carolina’s conservation trust funds, which help protect our state’s land and water resources and provide funding for parks and recreation projects, like the Mountain-to Sea Trail. The budget also includes significant increases to preserve working family farms in the Piedmont. Alamance County state Rep. Stephen Ross and Sen. Rick Gunn were strong voices in making this additional funding a reality.

Ross has demonstrated his commitment to protecting North Carolina’s tourism and agriculture industries in his role as chair of the House Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Appropriation Subcommittee. He has also been a strong advocate for restoring dedicated revenue sources for the trust funds. Gunn has consistently supported conservation efforts throughout his years in the Senate and has been a champion for the outdoor recreation industry, helping create an outdoor industry recruitment position in the NC Economic Development Partnership. Serving as Co-Chairman of the Committee for Senate Appropriations on Agriculture, Natural and Economic Resources, Gunn has supported land and water conservation time and time again to enhance our state’s economy and quality of life. By stewarding our state’s natural resources, legislators like Ross and Gunn are ensuring North Carolina will continue to be a great place to raise our families and expand recreational opportunities for all our citizens. I appreciate their leadership on conservation and hope they will continue these efforts to benefit future generations of North Carolinians.

Billy Sewell, Jacksonville

Originally published on July 4, 2018.

Hickory Daily Record: Investing in Conservation is Smart Business

Brad Lail, Hickory resident and City Councilman, believes in the power of investing in conservation priorities.

“As the members of the General Assembly work on the state budget, I hope they will continue and grow that support because it is good for the state’s bottom line.” – Brad Lail

Read the entire opinion published by the Hickory Daily Record.

 

Post date: May 14, 2018