Conservation Trust for North Carolina recently acquired 21 acres in Jackson County’s Hi-Mountain subdivision. The property, known as Woodfin Creek Headwaters, abuts a 25-acre property owned by CTNC at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 447. CTNC will donate both properties to the National Park Service to expand the boundary of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Read what local media had to say about Woodfin Creek:
The property conserves a portion of land at the headwaters of Woodfin Creek, upstream of Woodfin Falls in the Little Tennessee River basin. It will contribute to the complex of land assembled around Waterrock Knob establishing a 5,000-acre recreation area near the south end of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Conserving land along the Blue Ridge Parkway enhances the landscape’s resilience to our changing climate by providing protected places where human and natural communities can move and adapt. With an elevation range from 4,840 to 5,060 feet, the newly-protected Woodfin Creek Headwaters has the potential to support significant numbers of rare plant and animal species.
“With the addition of the Woodfin Creek Headwaters property, we’re pleased to expand the boundary of protected lands along the Blue Ridge Parkway,” said Rusty Painter, CTNC Land Protection Director. “This property lies within a state-designated Natural Heritage Area, contains pockets of spruce-fir forest that will preserve the ecological diversity of the region, and is in close proximity to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.”
The property is visible from the Mt. Lyn Lowry Overlook at Parkway milepost 445. It was generously donated to CTNC by John J. Scelfo. A native New Yorker and now Florida resident, Scelfo was introduced to the beauty of North Carolina by his business partner, George Escaravage, with whom he owns a 182-acre development in Asheville.
“The land seemed so appropriate for conservation purposes that the initial intention of developing or selling to a developer quickly changed,” said Scelfo. “We are proud to help protect the beauty and natural heritage of the region by donating this property to CTNC and the Blue Ridge Parkway.”
CTNC works with voluntary landowners along the Blue Ridge Parkway to protect streams, forests, farms, scenic vistas, wildlife habitat, parks, and trails. The Conservation Trust for North Carolina has now conserved 66 properties on the Blue Ridge Parkway, totaling 34,472 acres. For more information on Blue Ridge Parkway land protection efforts, visit protecttheblueridgeparkway.org.
Other land trusts that conserve land in Jackson County include: Mainspring Conservation Trust, based in Franklin; Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, based in Asheville; Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, based in Highlands; and Conserving Carolina, based in Hendersonville.