Thousands of acres secured with Congaree Land Trust

March 14, 2016

The Congaree Land Trust (CLT) has put the finishing touches on securing conservation easements on three significant properties, adding another 2,330 acres and reaching a total of 62, 577 protected acres since the organization was founded in 1992. A growing number of Midlands property owners are investing in the land’s natural assets.

Porter Thompkins, a CPA based in Sumter and one of the property owners in the recent land transactions, explained his decision to work with the CLT on an easement, “Several property owners near us were putting their properties under easement, and my partners and I realized that if we did as well, the area would have continuous protected acres. We cherish the solitude and quiet there, away from the hustle and bustle, and I didn’t want to take that for granted.”

Thompkins and his partners’ land of nearly 200 acres is within the waterfowl corridor in Clarendon County, a prime habitat for a range of bird species from wood ducks to mallards and wild turkey.

Another property comprised of 1,866 acres borders the Wateree River within Kershaw County, marking a key buffer of 1.3 miles on the riverfront. The third property of the recent acquisitions features 270 acres in Sumter County, neighboring the Santee National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Marion. Bald eagles, ospreys and diverse species of songbirds frequent the skies above this property. The CLT focuses on opportunities to secure conservation easements near important wildlife areas in order fortify those already undeveloped areas like the Santee Wildlife Refuge and the COWASEE Basin.

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“None of these three conservation easements would have been possible without the funding from the SC Conservation Bank, said Congaree Land Trust executive director Stuart White. “Hundreds of hours in legal and scientific facilitation are undertaken during these easement transactions.”

The CLT promotes a variety of land uses suitable for these protected properties, including, forestry, agriculture and hunting, while also working to educate the community about the benefits of these conserved lands.

“Members of our organization support these easement programs because conserved areas like these three properties offer an array of public benefits–from minimizing flooding to providing clean water and air,” White added.


About The Congaree Land Trust

The Congaree Land Trust is in its third decade of conserving South Carolina’s scenic lands to help preserve the visual landscape, protect water and air quality by creating buffers around our Central South Carolina river systems, and making it possible for the same recreational and agricultural opportunities that we enjoy today to continue in the future.  Founded in 1992 and funded by membership contributions, CLT works to establish conservation easements for landowners in a twelve-county area of central South Carolina that includes Bamberg, Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg counties.

For more information on conservation easements and membership in the Congaree Land Trust, visit