Wildlife Commission casts for East Fork lands
Headwaters have water quality value
Brook Trout are native to the East Fork Headwaters
The Conservation Fund, a non-profit organization, is under contract to buy an 8000-acre tract of land from private owners, with the contingency that the land and waters will revert to public domain. The biologically diverse land in Transylvania County is home to waterfalls and trout streams that are common in Western N.C.
“This land is highly desirable for protection and public use, and is truly multipurpose,” said Gordon Myers, executive director of the Commission. “The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission supports The Conservations Fund’s effort to effectuate long-term conservation of this valuable resource.”
The tract of land known as the East Fork headwaters encompasses 10 miles of the Foothills Trail where it enters N.C. and has 50 miles of trout streams. Recreational opportunities for the public abound such as hunting, fishing, hiking, biking and more. The Commission manages 2 million acres already through its game land program.
A price of $33 million dollars has been negotiated for the tract that contains the headwaters of the East Fork of the French Broad River. The land is mid-way between the DuPont State Forest and the Gorges State Park and is a natural fit for conversion to land that is stewarded by the public.
“This isn’t just about people who fly fish now,” said Damon Hearne, southeastern land protection coordinator for Trout Unlimited. “It’s about the culture of environmental stewardship and preserving lands for the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.”
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