Habitat Restoration Projects Begin in Beaufort County

Okatie Marsh Pinelands

Monday, December 13, 2021 4:05 PM

Habitat restoration at the Evergreen property began on December 9, and five more properties will be worked on over the next six months, providing a revenue of approximately $300,000 to the County Passive Parks Program.

"It is important for our forests and the wildlife within to have healthy, safe, and natural habitats that will ensure the ecosystems are properly balanced and thriving," said Stefanie Nagid, Passive Parks Manager for Beaufort County.

Six properties were identified for habitat restoration in the Forest Management Plan and Activity Schedule approved by County Council on June 22, 2020.  The properties include Evergreen, Barrel Landing, Garvey Hall, Manigault Neck, Okatie Marsh, and Pinckney Point. 

Habitat restoration includes thinning trees, clearing underbrush, and timber harvests. Most noticeable will be timber harvests of slash and loblolly pine trees across approximately 250 acres out of the 13,000 acres of the properties managed by the Passive Parks Manager. 

The harvested slash and loblolly pine tree areas will be replanted with Longleaf Pine trees. Longleaf pine reforestation is nationally recognized as beneficial to southeastern forest health and encouraged to restore in areas where natural stands have been lost. Longleaf pine is also less susceptible to bark beetles and insect pests than other Southern pines and is more tolerant of high winds and drought.

County Council approved the timber harvest bid on April 12, 2021.  Money from the sale of the timber will be used to continue land management needs on the County’s Rural and Critical Lands properties.

Since 2000, Beaufort County citizens have approved five bond referendums, totaling $160 million, to fund land purchases and passive park improvement projects. As a result, more than 26,000 acres of land have been protected through either fee-simple purchase or purchase of development rights.

The community has deemed these properties unique, and the acquired properties have scenic views, critical habitat, water access, or historical significance. Proper stewardship of these natural and cultural resources is fundamental to land management and the protection of the conservation values of these properties.

For more information, visit the County Passive Parks webpage.

For more information on recreation projects, visit the County Passive Parks projects webpage.

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