The Katawba Valley Land Trust had one successful conservation project in 2015 protecting a 152-acre property on Beaver Creek in northern Kershaw County. The property was protected by a conservation easement. A conservation easement is a legally binding agreement between a land trust and a landowner that protects the conservation values on the property in perpetuity.
The property is characterized by stands of planted pine, mixed hardwoods, wildlife openings and bottomland hardwoods. The property has significant elevation changes, rising sharply from the floodplain of Beaver Creek to hilltops that offer sweeping vistas of the Beaver Creek drainage south and the Stoneboro/Liberty Hill area to the northwest. Managed forest lands surround the property.
The property contains a mix of hardwoods and planted pines and is approximately 80% forested. The property has a variety of habitats that sustain both game and non-game species. The hardwood areas provide good habitat for both native and migratory songbirds and the pond/waterfowl impoundment on the property provides good habitat for waterfowl and wading bird species. Beaver, as well as traditional game and non-game species are found on the property. Two small creeks are dammed to form the pond on the property which, when leaving the property flows through a hardwood bottomland to Beaver Creek. The Beaver Creek floodplain contains a good stand of bottomland hardwoods.
This conservation project is a joint effort with the South Carolina Conservation Bank. The conservation bank provides funding to assist land trusts in purchasing conservation easements. The bank, established in 2002, provides funding to land trusts through a competitive application process to purchase conservation easement from willing sellers on properties with significant natural or cultural values. To receive funding, projects must be approved by the conservation bank board. This is the fourth KVLT conservation project to receive funding from the bank. The property is owned by Douglas B. Sheorn.
The Sheorn property contains significant conservation values which include water quality protection, wildlife habitat conservation and open space protection. Land Trust Executive Director Barry Beasley states “that protecting this property with a conservation easement will help protect the water quality and aquatic health of Beaver Creek and Lake Wateree. Protection will also maintain rural landscapes and forested lands as well as important South Carolina traditional land uses and traditions such as hunting.”