The land trust has recently protected three properties through conservation easement agreements conserving a total of 279 acres. 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.
Two of these easements protect farmland near Lowrys, South Carolina in Chester County. One parcel is a 50-acre tract and the other is a 57-acre tract. They are both owned by William C. Crosby and will be farmed by Mr. Crosby. These tracts are primarily open farm fields with approximately 40 acres of hardwood forests. They are located in the historic farming community of Lowrys and the easement will maintain these lands as farmland in perpetuity protecting South Carolina farming traditions and the rural character of this beautiful part of South Carolina.
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 fifth KVLT conservation project to receive funding from the bank.
Mark Grier, KVLT President states, “KVLT is proud to be a part of protecting farms and farmland. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to help preserve our areas rich farming traditions”.
The third conservation easement, a 122.17 tract, protects a part of the Second Battle of Hanging Rock battlefield where a Revolutionary War battle was fought on August 6, 1780. The battle was part of a campaign led by South Carolina Militia Colonel Thomas Sumter to harass British outposts in the South Carolina backcountry. In the battle, Sumter, with 800 men defeated 1400 Loyalist troops under the command of Major John Carden. The area protected by the easement was the site of a British camp and was a core area of the battle. This important project was a partnership between KVLT, the South Carolina Battleground Trust, the Civil War Trust, the National Park Service and Lancaster County.
The fourth easement protects 50 acres of the Revolutionary War battlefield for the Battle of Waxhaws or Buford Massacre, which occurred on May 29, 1780. This battle was an engagement between Continental troops led by Colonel Abraham Buford and British troops and Loyalists commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Just as quickly as it had begun, the Battle of Waxhaws was over. British casualties were slight, with 5 killed and 14 wounded. The Americans lost 113 men killed and 203 wounded. Colonel Buford managed to escape from the slaughter. He reported what he saw on the battlefield to Patriot officials and the effect was electrifying. The Battle of Waxhaws became known as “Buford’s Massacre” and Tarleton, already known as an aggressive commander, was condemned as a butcher. This project is also a partnership between KVLT, the South Carolina Battleground Trust, the Civil War Trust, the National Park Service and Lancaster County.
Barry Beasley, KVLT Executive Director states, “the land trust has a strong interest in protecting important historical sites and we are delighted to hold these easements on these important battlefield.