The Trust for Public Land has assisted Lumber River State Park in adding a 1,054-acre tract at its Princess Ann Access that will help protect water quality in the river and provide new recreation opportunities.
The conservation organization secured the land from Plum Creek Timber Co. last year, shortly before Plum Creek merged with Weyerhauser Inc. The property encompasses wetlands and sandy hills and has been a sought-after acquisition for the park for many years.
The $1.1 million project cost came from a combination of federal and state money. The N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund contributed $760,000, which was matched by $340,000 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“The conservation of the Lumber River owes much to local citizens and conservation organizations that have assisted the state parks system in stewardship of this scenic resource, and this latest acquisition is an example of that assistance,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director. “This property will act as a buffer to protect water quality preserve wildlife habitat and offer more options for recreation in the state park.”
“North Carolina now has more than 10 million people and increasingly, they need places to get outdoors, get away from busy cities and towns, and enjoy nature. Our mission to protect land for people and this land is a perfect fit with that goal,” said Kent Whitehead, director of the Carolinas Office of The Trust for Public Land. “With the help of our supporters, we can do more work like this in the future.”
The Lumber River is a federally designated National Wild and Scenic River and the only blackwater river in North Carolina to have that designation. Lumber River State Park encompasses 11,259 acres at various locations along a 100-mile stretch of the river, offering 24 campsites and several boat and canoe launch points.
“The Lumber River State Park expansion joins a long list of Land and Water Conservation Fund success stories in North Carolina,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. “LWCF makes it possible to give the incredible gift of conservation to future generations without relying on taxpayer funding. I’m thankful for the conservation advocates that fight to protect our natural treasures.”
“As a lifelong sportsman whose grandparents met as children playing on the banks of the Lumber River, I know how important it is to care for our environment and preserve our lands for future generations,” said U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C. “I am thrilled that Lumber River State Park will continue to thrive and provide recreational opportunities for those in the Eighth District and across the state of North Carolina.”