Monday, April 7, 2008

Pickens County Land to be Preserved

This past Fall I had an opportunity to visit a spectacular piece of land in Pickens Co., SC known as the 'Nine-Times Tract.' Although this piece of land has been enjoyed by residents of Pickens for many years, it is a piece of land that very few people have heard of outside of the county. My role in visiting this special place (and reason for tagging along with more important members of the SC conservation community) was that I had been asked to create a portfolio of images of the landscapes, flora and fauna that best showcased what the region had to offer. The 2200 acre property was (and still is in part) privately owned and the rumors were that it was going to be put up for sale for development by the end of the year. It was critical to save this last large remaining chunk of the Blue Ridge Escarpment because the diversity of plants and animals that it harbors. Among those are the green salamander, faded trillium, sharp lobed hepatica, gorge goldenrod and the list goes on. It is also an important site for umbrella species such as black bears which are increasingly under pressure due to development.

Fortunately, good news came last December when Upstate Forever posted a release on their website stating that the property is going to be preserved with the help of the South Carolina Conservation bank and state and local officials. I am so happy to be a part, however small, of this effort and look forward to continuing to make images this spring.

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