In August CTNC awarded ten grants totaling $168,808 to eight land trusts to pay for transaction costs involved with conserving land. The grants will help protect water and wildlife habitat on 891 acres and will leverage $3.7 million. Grants cover surveys, appraisals, environmental assessments, baseline documentation reports, legal fees, closing costs, and staff time, as well as future monitoring, stewardship, and legal defense expenses.
Funded projects include a 210-acre property in Jackson County with excellent water quality, significant wildlife habitat, and scenic views. When the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust completes the project, it will be a critical piece of protected land connecting the Nantahala National Forest to the Tuckasegee River Corridor.
Piedmont Land Conservancy received a grant to conserve 66 acres in Yadkin County. The landowner works closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to maintain a diversity of wildlife habitats on the property including forestland, meadows, and ephemeral pools for migrating waterfowl.
The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust was awarded a grant to help acquire 24 acres of barrier island habitat and coastal wetlands on Ocracoke Island in Hyde County. The property is one of the largest remaining parcels in private ownership on Ocracoke Island and will be permanently protected Trust to provide important bird habitat, a buffer of conservation lands around Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and public access and education through an interpretive nature trail and boardwalk.
So far this year CTNC has awarded over $249,000 to land trusts across the state to help with land protection transaction costs.