OUR MISSION: To protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds.

THE VISION: A community living and growing in harmony with our natural heritage.


Click here to read our NEW Spring Newsletter!

Welcome to the Pacolet Area Conservancy website!

Through the varied conservation tools at its disposal, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) has helped protect over 8,700 acres of our area’s valuable natural resources. PAC holds conservation easements on 65 protected properties. PAC owns 25 properties. PAC is responsible for monitoring 73 easements annually, 7 of which are held by the state of North Carolina and one which is held by The Nature Conservancy. PAC is responsible for monitoring a total of 4823.65 acres annually to make certain that the terms of the conservation agreements are upheld.  The land trust also owns property covering over 440 acres.

Consolidation announcement


Little White Oak Mountain          Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC), your local land trust which protects land in Polk County and surrounding counties, extends a Matching Fund Challenge to the residents of Polk County and the surrounding region to financially support the recent $2.38 million purchase by PAC’s sister organization, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC), of the almost 1,100 acre Little White Oak Mountain tract. Once slated for heavy development as Foster Creek Preserve, this iconic landmark in Polk County will now be permanently protected to provide watershed protection, habitat for our native plants and animals, and recreational opportunities to the community. PAC will match every dollar contributed toward the purchase of this property up to $200,000. This total of $400,000 will help reduce the outstanding loan on the tract.

            In 2014, Margaret (Maggie) Miller Bennett of Tryon bequeathed to PAC a generous portion of her estate. Because Maggie and her husband, Bill, were committed to the protection of wildlife and unspoiled natural lands, PAC now honors her memory by using her bequest as the Challenge Fund for the preservation of this beautiful property for the benefit of the community.

            The Little White Oak Mountain tract is a completely undeveloped, natural gem in our county. It is located off of Houston Road and Highway 108 in Columbus, contiguous to Polk County Middle School and the Polk County Recreation Complex. CMLC purchased this property with the intention of providing for recreational opportunities, for protection of plant and wildlife habitat, and for the preservation of scenic views. In addition, CMLC and PAC are working with a Hendersonville non-profit to develop the lower portion of the tract as workforce housing. All of these possibilities will potentially attract more visitors to the area and support the local economy.

            For over a decade PAC has considered this property a conservation priority. Babs Strickland, Dot Moyer, Renée McDermott, other PAC Board members, and PAC staff had worked with the previous owners to protect parts of this tract with a conservation easement. During this process, both PAC and CMLC met with the owners, the American Land Fund, and their representative Jeff Reader. In 2015, because of the efforts of CMLC’s executive director, Kieran Roe, and the assistant director for programs, Rebekah Robinson, the American Land Fund agreed to sell the entire tract to the CMLC at the end of 2016. The purchase was made possible in part by a generous gift from Alice and Fred Stanback of Salisbury, NC, and a $1.86 million loan from the Conservation Trust of North Carolina.  

To repay the loan, CMLC needs our community’s support to secure the purchase of this tract for the enjoyment of future generations. Please consider a tax deductible donation of any amount to the Matching Fund Challenge; every dollar received will be matched by a dollar from PAC up to $200,000. Please call 828-859-5060 for more information and payment methods, or click here to donate online.

Join us for a PACnic,

a potluck picnic for friends of Pacolet Area Conservancy

May 21st from 1-4 p.m.

At the home of Brad and Lisa Broyles,

110 Tomahawk Lane, Saluda.

IMG_8515The property is adjacent to PAC protected land and offers views, a waterfall, and a pond.  Bring boots and pants if you would like to walk to the waterfall on the PAC preserve; swimsuit if you plan to dip in the pond.  Definitely bring children as in addition to the above activities there is a canoe available for a paddle and lots of animals and to enjoy (leave your own dogs at home this time).

Bring a dish to share; we will have cutlery, water, soft drinks, and some beer and wine.  You are welcome to BYOB but there is no smoking on the property.

Please RSVP to PAC at (828)859-5060.

logoJoin PAC’s team through AmeriCorps Project Conserve!

Click here for an overview, eligibility, and compensation.

Click here for details about the position.

PAC & CMLC are hiring a Southeast Regional Director!

The position ensures a coordinated fundraising strategy with the Hendersonville office and leads community engagement efforts in and around Polk County.  Candidates should have proven success with building non-profit community support; successful grant-writing experience; familiarity with Polk and adjoining parts of Greenville and Spartanburg counties; familiarity with land conservation desirable.

Send cover letter and resume to info@carolinamountain.org.

View the full job description and application instructions at this link.

PACWalk thank you

Grants Available for Conservation in 2017!

IMG_3935The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) is continuing to offer grants of up to $20,000 to help NC landowners protect their land and waterways with a voluntary conservation easement in 2017.

Land conservation provides positive benefits to all area families, every single day, and these benefits don’t last for a day, a month, or even a year.  They last forever.

Conserving natural lands provides numerous public benefits, such as safe drinking water, clean air, fresh and local foods, parks and trails for outdoor exercise, scenic views that boost the tourism economy, and extensive habitat for wildlife.

Perhaps the most important benefit of all is the satisfaction and peace of mind from knowing that you’ve conserved the land you love, guaranteeing that it will be as beautiful in the future as it is today.

Grants available through CTNC provide a wonderful opportunity for landowners to protect their land and waterways.  These grants help landowners by covering the costs associated with placing a conservation easement on their property.  The grant will cover the cost of surveys, recording fees, title opinion and title insurance, stewardship endowment, baseline documentation report, project administration cost, appraisals, and legal fees.  Landowners that protect their land with a voluntary conservation easement may also qualify for Federal Tax Incentives.

Landowners interested in learning more about protecting their property and/or waterways with a custom-made conservation easement are encouraged to contact the PAC, the local land trust that will apply for grants on behalf of the landowner.

To learn more about conservation easements and the possibility of qualifying for this grant in 2017, please contact the PAC at 828-859-5060 or landprotection@pacolet.org.  Remaining application deadlines: July 14 and October 13.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity and its benefits.

Additional hiking opportunity!

May 13 – PAC/Foothills Humane Society Hike!  Bring your dog or walk a shelter dog for the day with a a 5.5-mile hike at Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve in SC.

Click here to access the “Upcoming Events” page to find more information.


Click here to download a brochure about our 2017 Education Series

2017 PAC & Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) Programs


Each month (except December), PAC & WCP will offer a Saturday morning program/presentation at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve.  Programs are free of charge, open to all ages, and begin at 10:30 a.m. (more info. below)

PAC/WCP programs are made possible, in part, by a grant from Mary Merritt and Bob and Babs Strickland.

April 29 – Simon Thompson, owner of Ventures Birding Tours, will present, “Confessions of a Birding Tour Leader.”

May 27 – owner of Mushroom Mountain & mycologist, Tradd Cotter, will present, “Mushrooms: Dark matter that binds life.”

*Mushroom Mountain Farm Tour with PAC on June 14th! ($15 tour fee; pre-registration by 6/7/17 required).  Click here for information about the Farm Tour

June 17 – Tanya Poole, NCWRC Education Specialist, will present on Bats!

July 15 – Patrick McMillan, host of ETV’s Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, will present, “The Southern Blue Ridge – Crucible of Life.”

August 12 – David Campbell will present on his Floristic and Biodiversity Study of Polk County.

September 23 – “Wilderness from an ecological, cultural and aesthetic perspective,” presented by Jennifer Frick-Ruppert

October 28 – Naturalist, Tim Lee will present, “Bioluminescence: From Fireflies to Fungi.”

November 11 – Nancy Basket, basket weaver and Cherokee storyteller, will present on “basket making with Kudzu.”


For more information about these programs and scheduled 2017 programs, click on this link to go to the Upcoming Events page of this website.

Great News!
Landrum Library Free Community Events Programs Continue in 2017!
Thanks to a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF), PAC and the Landrum Library will continue to offer free nature education programs at the Landrum Library in 2017!


We’re looking forward to working with the Landrum Library to create an exciting schedule on fascinating topics presented by fun and knowledgeable experts in their field!


May 9 – Dennis Chastain will present “Appalachian Sampler” at 6:30 p.m.


June 8 – naturalist, Carlton Burke, will present “Owls – Masters of the Night” at 2:00 p.m., as part of the “Summer Reading Program.”


July 18 – naturalist, Tim Lee, will present on, “Salamanders of the Carolinas,” at 6:00 p.m.


August 29 – Dr. Jack Turner and Beth Button, from the USC Upstate Watershed Ecology Center, will present on “Watersheds,” at 6:00 p.m.
community-matters-pccf-seal_transparentCheck out our “Upcoming Events” page for more information!

Help PAC locate “Species of Interest” in Polk County!

Check out the new Polk County’s Most Wanted “pocket guides” for (1) Plants and for (2) Animals and Habitats!

Polk County's Most Wanted pocket guide to plants       Polk County's Most Wanted pocket guide to animals

Follow this link to download and print the pocket guides!

Gil's slide

PAC is in need of tools to help us continue our stewardship efforts!  If you happen to have tools lying around that you are no longer using and you would like to donate them to PAC, we would greatly appreciate it!

On our “wish list”:

-chain saws

-weed whackers

-brush saws



-work gloves

-eye and ear protection

-push lawn mower

The Polk County Community Foundation funded a grant to PAC for the first year of a survey of the flora and fauna of Polk County!

Botanist, David Campbell, has been conducting a field study and identifying and documenting important species in our area. Polk County is considered one of the ‘Jewels in the Crown’ by the botanical community in our state but is one of only five counties where no study has been done. The primary focus is on species of concern: plants, animals, natural communities, and habitats most at risk of extinction at the global or local level.

At the end of the two-year survey, all data will be recorded, a report will be written, and then the report will be distributed to all interested individuals, organizations, universities and colleges, etc.

The data will enable PAC and other organizations to take a proactive role in protecting habitats supporting species of concern at both the county and municipal level. These projects have been used by conservation organizations for decades to help prioritize their work and incorporate the data into comprehensive plans.

Campbell has been writing articles for the Tryon Daily Bulletin and Polk County News Journal, called “Polk County’s Most Wanted,” about plants, animals, and habitats unique to our area.


PAC & Landrum Library Programs

In 2016, the Polk County Community Foundation awarded PAC a Free Community Events grant which allowed us to offer seven free educational programs at the Landrum Library in 2016!  The programs were attended by a total of 400 people (277 adults and 123 children) in our community!

PAC and the Landrum Library extend their gratitude to the Polk County Community Foundation for making these programs possible!


Do you know of a sensitive area that is scheduled for clearing and contains a lot of beautiful, native plants? Contact PAC! We would love the opportunity to visit the site and, perhaps help rescue the native plants there!

For information on Voluntary Conservation Easements (Agreements), click on the link below to download the latest in depth publication, Voluntary Conservation Agreements: An Introduction for North Carolina Land Owners, or contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy for a printed version.


Click here to download the 3 MB pdf: Voluntary Conservation Agreements: An Introduction for North Carolina Land Owners


Contact us to get information about how protecting your property may qualify you in for FEDERAL TAX BENEFITS!  And how preservation of your land can set the standard for our area’s conservation efforts.

Visit us to SEE A MAP showing where your property fits in the landscape of permanently protected land in the area, and/or see where your farm fits into protected land in Horse Country!

Saving Horse CountryIf you’d like to see a 10 MINUTE VIDEO about protecting our horse country, featuring interviews about how Virginia’s Piedmont Environmental Council protected their vast Horse Country, click here. If you’d like to borrow our “Saving Horse Country” DVD, contact PAC to for details.

PAC works not only with landowners, but also with other land trusts, state and federal agencies to accomplish conservation goals. PAC also endorses the North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan, or SWAP, which encourages the preservation of wildlife through habitat conservation.

Office Hours:

Monday – Friday – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday – Closed

Other times by appointment or by chance.