Location: Caldwell County, North Carolina
The land was donated to STPAL in 2014. Acreage: 928 acres of forest land
This particular forest may contain the following endangered species: Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel, Virginia Big-eared Bat, and the Spruce Fir Moss Spider. It also may have the threatened Bog Turtle. We haven’t made observational confirmation on any of these yet, however based on our research it appears that the most likely possibility is the Bog Turtle. But by conserving and stewarding the land we will be protecting lots of plants and animals regardless of their status and will give them an opportunity to thrive.
STPAL donated this property to the State of North Carolina in 2015. It will remain conserved and be used as a forestry research center. Press Release follows:
Lenoir, North Carolina
January 19, 2016
“Without determined conservation heroes like them, complicated transactions like this one wouldn’t happen.”
The Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land announced today that the 928-acre Little Beaver Creek Farm in Caldwell County has been donated to the state to be managed by the Research Stations Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The land, donated by the heirs of Tommy Johnson, had been in the Johnson family for decades. The North Wilkesboro native, had planned to donate the property to the state prior to his death. Johnson’s sons, Alan and Steve, offered to give the land to the state of NC in 2014, but the transaction did not close prior to year’s end.
STPL agreed to serve as intermediary until details could be worked out. The land trust owns conservation properties similar to Little Beaver Creek in Western North Carolina and throughout Georgia.
“Serving as a placeholder isn’t an uncommon role for our land trust,” said Bill Jones, STPAL founder and executive director. “More often, we take properties into permanent conservation, but accommodating both the Johnsons and the state was the right thing to do.”
The Research Stations Division will manage the property under the direction of David Schnake, management forester, as a working forest, while providing opportunities for research, teaching and demonstration for foresters and students.
“We are grateful for the Johnsons’ generous gift and the help of the Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land,” said Sandy Stewart, director of the NCDA&CS Research Stations Division.