UPDATE: In 2022, CTNC donated the Saddle Mountain Meadow acquisition to the National Park Service. This donation allows for the expansion of the Blue Ridge Parkway boundary and will be held in conservation protection in perpetuity.
Conservation Trust for North Carolina purchased a 24-acre tract adjoining North Carolina’s Mitchell River Game Lands and the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 222. North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission (WRC) will accept this property for incorporation into the Saddle Mountain area of Mitchell River Game Lands. This conservation partnership adds to North Carolina’s public lands that support hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.
The Saddle Mountain State Natural Area boasts significant natural heritage in Alleghany County. This property includes approximately 14 acres of mixed-hardwood forest and approximately 10 acres of early-successional habitat for species dependent on non-forested, natural land.
Additionally, visitors can enjoy views of this property from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway continues to be one of the most visited national park units in the country, contributing to the $28 billion annual economic impact brought by the growing popularity of outdoor recreation in North Carolina.
“Expanding North Carolina’s state natural lands creates more places for all North Carolinians to connect with our state’s natural and cultural heritage.” said Chris Canfield, CTNC executive director. “And it is all thanks to the long-term commitment to land conservation by CTNC along with our partners at Piedmont Land Conservancy, the National Park Service, and the Wildlife Resources Commission.”
“CTNC purchased 251 acres on Saddle Mountain and conveyed it to the state in 2005. Since then, CTNC and Piedmont Land Conservancy have protected well over 100 more acres on Saddle Mountain.” said Rusty Painter, CTNC land protection director. “We’re grateful to the landowner, Barney Folger of Marietta, Georgia, who sold this property to CTNC for expansion of the state game land boundary.
The acquisition of Saddle Mountain Meadow was made possible with generous funding by Fred & Alice Stanback, The National Wild Turkey Federation, North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, and a local conservation enthusiast.
For more information on Blue Ridge Parkway land protection efforts visit protecttheblueridgeparkway.org.
Conservation Trust for North Carolina works to inspire and enable people to build resilient, just communities throughout our state. We work to conserve land that enhances climate resilience, provides a community benefit, and seeds equity and inclusion in conservation. More information about CTNC is available at www.ctnc.org or @ct4nc on Facebook and Twitter.