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Blue Ridge Conservancy announces 22,000-acre conservation milestone achieved

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Last Updated on January 4, 2021 3:41 pm

Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) has now conserved over 22,000 acres of land in northwest North Carolina. Two recent projects in Wilkes County enabled BRC to reach this benchmark in the final days of 2020.

“Despite the challenges, restrictions, and unknowns faced this year, land protection success remained steady.”, the agency said in the announcement. In December BRC closed on two projects in Wilkes County, adding land to existing conservation easements and further protecting the scenic beauty, cultural history, and ecological richness of the Brushy Mountains.

The Brushy Mountains, often referred to as “the Brushies,” is an eastern chain of the Blue Ridge Mountains with headwater streams feeding into the Yadkin River. The elevation and topography is less dramatic than the higher peaks of the High Country. These characteristics, and a milder climate, attract development pressure in the Brushies. BRC is proud to work with landowners who wish to protect their land and conserve this unique landscape while the region continues to grow.  

In 2011 BRC completed a conservation easement protecting 97 acres in Wilkes County adjacent to the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. This month, the landowners donated the entire property to BRC. Future plans for its most appropriate use are still being considered. The land is wooded and protects the water quality of several headwater streams.  

Also in December, 58 acres were added to another existing conservation easement in Wilkes County. This project expands wildlife habitat and connectivity, as it is adjacent to three other BRC conservation easements in Wilkes.

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