Permanent Protection of Prince George

Permanent Protection of Prince George
For over five years, PG Preservation, LLC has been diligently working to permanently protect the 1,065-acre property known as the Prince George Tract.  Nestled between Highway 17 Business just outside of Georgetown, the Prince George subdivision, Pawleys Creek at the mouth of Pawleys Inlet and the Havel Preserve, the conservation easement on the Prince George Tract has an enormous public benefit that will be enjoyed for the generations to come.  Pee Dee Land Trust proudly partnered with the landowners to create their lasting legacy of conservation by ensuring the property remains in its current state.

A spokesperson for PG Preservation, LLC stated, “We are delighted to have been able to conserve the Prince George Tract in perpetuity. It is a truly spectacular piece of property and needed to be protected permanently.  We are happy to have partnered with the good folks at the Pee Dee Land Trust to do so.”

 “We also want to thank Phillip Lammonds for the key role he played in making this easement a reality. For years Phillip sold real estate in the area and believed that the tract was protected.  When he realized that the tract could in fact be developed, he worked hard to find a conservation minded buyer.  He brought us the concept of acquiring and conserving the property and was instrumental in PG Preservation acquiring the property.  Without Phillip’s work on this project, we believe the property would have been at significant risk of intensive development.”

The Prince George Tract is one of the last large undeveloped properties along the Grand Strand and the conservation easement aligns with the Future Land Use Goals and Strategies in Georgetown County’s Comprehensive Plan, which aims to “Provide for the protection of the coastal beaches, dunes and natural vegetation of those areas; Promote the preservation of trees and other natural vegetation…; and Preserve and enhance the scenic quality of the Highway 17 corridor.”  Prince George is a critical piece added to the growing network of privately and publicly protected lands in Georgetown County and the Winyah Bay Focus Area, expanding the blue and green belts critical to our way of life. 

 “As a local resident, avid boater and fisherman, and overall lover of the Pawleys Island area, I was thrilled to be a part of the protection of the Prince George Tract,” said Johnny Weaver, Georgetown County representative on the Pee Dee Land Trust Board of Directors.  “The public benefits of water filtration, flood mitigation, wildlife habitat and scenic views these forested buffers preserve along Pawleys Creek is a true win for the entire Pawleys Island community.”

With over 5,000 feet of frontage on Pawleys Creek, the scenic view from the south end of Pawleys Island will forever be protected.  This pristine view of marsh is directly across from the public beach access parking area used by thousands of locals and visitors annually.  The Prince George Tract touts over 2,200 feet along Highway 17 and will now be kept as forest land in perpetuity.  

PDLT worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to identify priority species that are rare or at-risk that would benefit from the property including many rare species such as the Northern yellow bat, clapper rail, little blue heron, painted bunting, short-billed dowitcher, prairie warbler, Southern hognose snake, red-cockaded woodpecker, ruddy turnstone, sedge wren, western sandpiper, white ibis, and wood stork, all of which are listed as “Highest Priority” species per the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. 

The Prince George Tract is one of the most ecologically rich private properties along the South Carolina coast.  Mature, open longleaf pine savannahs and flatwoods are bisected by pocosins and bottomland hardwoods.  These habitats give way to maritime forests and estuarine wetlands of Pawleys Inlet.  All of these support the multitude of priority species, however, these habitats themselves are becoming increasingly rare ecological resources that cannot be replaced.  Beyond protecting species and habitats, this conservation easement will also preserve the ecological functions of the tract’s wetlands, reduce forest fragmentation, and preserve the viewshed along a major U.S. Highway.  Collectively, protecting the Prince George Tract will impart immeasurable benefits to the greater Waccamaw Neck area for generations to come.

PG Preservation was advised and represented by Susan Smythe, a partner at Womble Bond Dickinson (US), LLP, on both the acquisition of the Prince George tract and the donation of the conservation easement.

 

About Pee Dee Land Trust

Pee Dee Land Trust focuses on the Pee Dee watershed, which covers nine+ counties of the Pee Dee watershed in South Carolina: Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg.  Its mission is to protect, and to promote an appreciation of, the significant natural, agricultural,
and historical resources of the Pee Dee Watershed through voluntary land conservation and educational programs. PDLT has a toolbox full of options to help landowners who are interested in conservation such as accepting donations of land or conservation easements. There are endless options of ways to support PDLT as an individual or as an organization, including annual Membership, event sponsorship, hosting experiences, donations to one of the endowments, land donations and planned estate giving opportunities.

With its 86th conservation project to date, PDLT has now protected over 34,900 acres in the Pee Dee Watershed.  While remaining in private ownership, the lands protected through conservation easements held by PDLT ensure that special places will be available for farming, forestry, and recreation for future generations.  Through the use of permanent agreements, PDLT and landowners work as partners to ensure that land use activities on private property are limited in order to preserve key conservation values which benefit the public.  These values include open space such as rural scenic views along roads and rivers, habitat for wildlife including game and non-game species, and the protection of farm and forest land to ensure it remains in farming and forestry rather than being converted to other uses.

The Greater Pee Dee Watershed is the second largest watershed on the east coast of the USA.  PDLT focuses on protecting significant resources from the sandhills along the North Carolina border, all the way down to the Winyah Bay.  Current priority focus areas for PDLT include the Black, Waccamaw, Sampit, Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, and Lynches Rivers, along with major tributaries including Black Mingo, Black Creek, Thompson Creek, Three Creeks.   Our overall goal is connecting protected properties to create and grow blueways and greenways throughout our watershed. 

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P.O. Box 2134, Florence, SC 29503

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