Raleigh -- Governor Pat McCrory announced today that a high-quality tract of land, formerly owned by Crescent Communities, has been added to Lake James State Park with the help of The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and grants from two conservation trust funds.
“This acquisition will allow us to preserve the natural beauty of this splendid state park and keep it accessible to all North Carolinians for generations to come,” Governor McCrory said.
The property, in two parcels totaling 129 acres, features 8,900 linear feet of shoreline and a stunning view of the Linville Gorge. The Foothills Conservancy aided in negotiations for the $1.74 million acquisition funded through the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The property acquisition results in state ownership of the entire Long Arm Peninsula on the lake’s northern section. The Long Arm Peninsula and the Paddy’s Creek watershed, totaling 2,915 acres, were added to the state park in 2005 in a deal with Crescent Resources, the predecessor of Crescent Communities. The two small parcels were withheld from that agreement and had been inholdings within park boundaries.
“What a wonderful way to highlight the 100th anniversary of the State Parks with this remarkable gift,” said N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz. “We are grateful to the Foothills Conservancy and Crescent Communities for their generosity.”
“This important acquisition will protect our boundary at Lake James State Park and offer more recreation options as we continue to develop the park,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director. “The Foothills Conservancy and Crescent have been valued partners in the growth of this state park and their commitment to the community and to conservation is much appreciated.”
Lake James State Park was established in 1987 and encompasses 3,644 acres on both the north and south shore of the lake. The park recorded 471,566 visitors in 2014.