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Triangle Land Conservancy conserves three more Deep River tracts

Posted Friday, January 9, 2009

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Moncure, NC - Working with the NC Division of Parks and Recreation and tapping funding from three state conservation trust funds, Triangle Land Conservancy recently completed three conservation purchases in the "Forks of the River" area of the Deep River to augment the White Pines Nature Preserve and the Deep River State Trail.

The three purchases conserve a total of 286 acres, including 238 acres on the Lee County side of the Deep River and 48 acres on the Chatham side. "Forks of the River" is the traditional name for the area around where the Deep and Rocky rivers come together, a few miles west of Moncure between the US 15-501 and US 1 crossings. Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) has now led the conservation of 1,835 acres in this area.

The stream buffers provided by the three new acquisitions will help to maintain the water quality of the Deep River-for the benefit of the endangered species that live in this area, for the benefit of fishermen and paddlers, and for the benefit of the people of Lee County which draws its drinking water from the Cape Fear River just a few miles below this area.

At the heart of the area is TLC's White Pines Nature Preserve in Chatham County, a natural area that is home to stands of white pine trees left behind after the last ice age 12,000 years ago.

These are the only stands of white pine found in the eastern Piedmont of North Carolina - 75 miles further east than their nearest kin in the Stokes County mountains near Hanging Rock State Park. Other species more commonly found in the mountains also thrive here, such as Catawba rhododendron, Dutchman's britches, witch alders, and the red-backed
salamander. The presence of these species here makes this location a nationally significant natural area.

The white pine habitat here extends beyond the current boundaries of TLC's preserve across the Deep River into Lee County. TLC is working to conserve as much of the white pine habitat as possible.

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