2017 marks PAC’s 28th year of Saving the Places You Love.
Introduction and Background of PAC
For the past 28 years, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) has served as the local and regional land trust for Polk County and surrounding areas in North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. The non-profit, grass roots organization is dedicated to protecting the precious natural resources making up the land and water which impacts the beauty and health of our area. 1,500 community members actively support PAC.
Since its inception, PAC has been ahead of its time in the proactive protection of this region’s natural environment. Through the organization’s conservation efforts, over 9,780 acres have been protected. PAC holds 65 conservation easements. PAC is responsible for monitoring 73 conservation easements annually, 7 of which are held by the state of North Carolina and one (1) which is held by The Nature Conservancy. PAC is responsible for monitoring a total of 4820 acres annually to make certain that the terms of the conservation agreements are upheld. The land trust also owns property covering over 440 acres.
Based in Tryon, PAC focuses on the thoughtful conservation of mountains, watersheds, forests, farms and greenspace. The land trust helps protect habitat for flora and fauna, as well as scenic and agricultural resources. PAC works with landowners to help decide what happens to their land in the future and how best to protect their properties’ natural resources in perpetuity. As water has become a critical issue, PAC is working to protect not only actual waterways, but also the buffers protecting them. PAC has current programs focused on protecting riparian corridors, mountains and ridgetops, and the impressive greenspace created by the area’s horse farms.
Regionally, PAC is a member of the North Carolina Land Trust Council and the Blue Ridge Forever 50,000 acre collaborative initiative. Nationally, PAC is a member of The Land Trust Alliance. PAC has dedicated itself to creating alliances and working relationships with like-minded groups, such as Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE), The Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, Polk County Soil & Water, The Clean Water Management Trust Fund, The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & CS Plant Conservation Program, Save Our Slopes, and the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission, as well as local schools, realtors, Rotary clubs and other civic organizations, among others.
Click here to download a pdf of general information about PAC.
Click here to see a copy of PAC’s 2016 tax return.
Recent Highlights of PAC’s conservation work:
PAC assists in the protection of Foster Creek Preserve, a 1,060-acre tract of land on the south-facing slopes of Little White Oak Mountain! PAC had been working with numerous owners of the planned development for years, and finally, after many negotiation, PAC partnered with the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) who obtained funding to purchase the property!
PAC received a grant from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina to obtain a conservation easement on 5.58 acres on Melrose Mountain, protecting important, beautiful wildlife habitat – forever.
Just a few of the many species that enjoy this beautiful habitat.
PAC received a $500 grant from Foothills Riding Club (FRC)!
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’s Norman Wilder Forest chosen as a site for American Chestnut restoration. Four (hopefully) blight-resistant American Chestnut trees were planted at the site in February, thanks to Ford Smith and his family as a memorial to Mara Smith.
PAC obtained ownership of 2.03 acres of land in the Tryon area that will be permanently protected in its forever wild state.
PAC created three certified Monarch Butterfly Gardens in Polk County, one at the PAC office, one at the PAC protected Norman Wilder Forest, and one at the Polk County Library.
PAC transferred 11.57 acres of land from ownership to a Conservation Easement.
PAC receives a Certificate of Recognition (Beautification Award) for the Native Plant/Butterfly Gardens that we created at the Polk County Library and the PAC office.
Thanks to grants made available through the Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s (CTNC) Money in the Ground Program, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) was able to help two property owners in Polk County realize their dream of protecting their land through voluntary conservation easements in 2015, cumulatively protecting another 49.65 acres of land in western North Carolina, forever.
PAC also helped two property owners in South Carolina, one in Spartanburg County and one in Greenville County, realize their dream of protecting their land through a voluntary Conservation Easement in 2015, cumulatively protecting another 11.21 acres in the Upstate of South Carolina, forever.
PAC received a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF) to perform a Floristic and Biodiversity Study of Polk County which is underway! The grant will fund the first year of the study which will take place over a 2-year period, and many new discoveries have already been made!
PAC completes a 3-year Kudzu Eradication – Powered by Goats project at the 2-acre Town of Tryon lot, funded by PCCF.
PAC adds an additional 0.85 acre to an existing Conservation Easement.
Thanks to grants made available through the Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s (CTNC) Money in the Ground Program, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) was able to help two property owners in Polk County realize their dream of protecting their land through voluntary conservation easements in 2014, cumulatively protecting another 74 acres of land in western North Carolina, forever.
Thanks to grants made available through the Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s (CTNC) Money in the Ground Program, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) was able to help four property owners in Polk County realize their dream of protecting their land through voluntary conservation easements in December, cumulatively protecting another 200 acres of land in western North Carolina, forever. Each of these properties is unique, with its own character, habitat, and conservation values. The protection of these lands ensures appropriate habitat for over 100 species of birds (two listed by the state of North Carolina as Special Concern and one Significantly Rare), over 275 species of plants (two listed by the state of North Carolina as Threatened and one listed by the Federal Government as Threatened), at least 15 species of reptiles (one listed by the state of North Carolina as Special Concern), at least 20 species of mammals, and at least 10 species of amphibians. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission devised the North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) in 2005 and these properties protect priority species as identified by SWAP: 12 birds, 3 reptiles, and 1 amphibian. Over 3,000 feet of two major creeks are now protected as well as 8 tributaries to these creeks. There is even a portion of family land going back to one of the original families that settled in Tryon, dating back to the 1760’s, that has been protected as a legacy to the family in perpetuity.
PAC protects nearly 22 acres along the Middle Tyger River in South Carolina!
PAC works with the Hunting Country Property Owners Association to protect a 2-acre parcel of land near the historic Block House, ensuring that this parcel remain in its natural state, adding to the scenic beauty and character of the Hunting Country in perpetuity.
PAC purchases 8.5 acres near the North Pacolet River on the Saluda Grade. The property is adjacent to over 100 acres of already protected lands and is an important addition to the preservation of the North Pacolet River watershed. Little Falls Creek bisects the property and Little Falls itself begins at the top of the property and cascades through the property and into the North Pacolet River below. It is truly a beautiful and amazing piece of property!
PAC receives a grant from Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc.!
PAC receives a grant from Delores Lastinger to continue programs at Walnut Creek Preserve!
PAC receives a grant from Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc.
PAC receives a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation for a 3-year project eradicating Kudzu from a highly visible lot in the Town of Tryon.
PAC receives a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation to continue free educational/informational programs at Walnut Creek Preserve’s Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center.
PAC completes 138-page Natural Resource Comprehensive Study of the Pacolet River Scenic Byway from Tryon to Saluda
PAC begins the year having helped protect 8,000 acres of waterways, mountains, farms, forests, and greenspace in the foothills region. As part of Blue Ridge Forever, PAC helps meet the collaboration’s goal of 50,000 acres protected in 5 years.
PAC permanently protects 466 acres of irreplaceable natural resources.
PAC places 4 important area farms under conservation easement agreement.
PAC receives prestigious Scenic Byways Natural Resource Protection grant.
PAC receives Achieving Conservation Excellence grant.
PAC Executive Director serves 2nd term on NC Land Trust Council Steering Committee as well as Public Affairs Chair. Also 2nd term as Public Relations Co-Chair, Blue Ridge Forever 50,00 acre initiative.
PAC’s Wilder Forest and PAC-protected Shuford Wildlife Sanctuary and FENCE Trails awarded NC Birding Trail status.
PAC hires a full-time Land Protection Specialist.
PAC places permanent conservation agreements on a record 1,247 acres in one year.
Permanent protection placed on the 380-acre Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, an accomplishment that culminated an 8-year process.
Creation and opening of the Shuford Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary Trail (with help from PCCF grant)
PAC permanently protects 518 acres on 12 horse farms.
PAC completes NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund Riparian Corridor Conservation Plan.
The State of North Carolina conveys the Childers property to PAC, helping Pacolet River linkage.
PAC Ecosystem Enhancement Program properties (protecting water) reach total of 6.