HCF & the Katawba Valley Land Trust

by Virginia Zemp: Executive Director – Historic Camden Foundation

Michelle Evans is the new Executive Director of the Katawba Valley Land Trust (KVLT) and as such she oversees the Battle of Camden site enforcement of conservation and environmental easements. Historic Camden Foundation asked Michelle to tell us a bit more about the important work KVLT does in our region and the projects she is working on with the SC Battleground Trust. 

 

Michelle:

KVLT has had a long relationship with the SC Battleground Trust in the region. In addition to the Battle of Camden site, we hold conservation easements on the Battle of Hanging Rock near Heath Springs and the Battle of the Waxhaws (Buffords Massacre) near Buford. We are currently looking at possibly protecting additional battlefield land in conjunction with the Battlefield Trust.

Ginny:

Michelle, what are the goals of conservation and environmental easements and how does KVLT support the protection of land?

Michelle:

The goals of the land trust are to insure that properties protected under conservation easement are maintained and managed in a manner consistent with the terms of the easement in perpetuity. Conservation easements are generally written in a manner to protect the natural, cultural or historic values of the property, and the document describes these values and what activities may or may not occur on the property. KVLT inspects each property at least once per year to confirm that the use of the property is consistent with the easement.

Ginny:

Historic Camden Foundation took possession of the Battle of Camden site with 476 acres already under conservation easement. KVLT helps us through review of plans and continued processes designed to protect the environmentally sensitive and historically significant property.

Ginny:

Michelle, your geographic area includes what SC counties?

Michelle: Our main focus is in Lancaster, Chester, Kershaw and Fairfield counties.

Ginny:

Several battlefields lie within your regional protection, where are you assisting in the conservation of SC’s historic landscape?

Michelle:

Besides the battlefield protection previously mentioned, we have a number of historic houses under protection. They include the Richards house in Heath Springs, the Wade-Beckham house and the Craig Farm in Lancaster. From a historic agricultural perspective, we also hold easements on working family farms that have been around for generations.

Ginny:

South Carolina has been a leader in the preservation of land, both through private landowner easements and public protections.  We continue, thanks to organizations such as KVLT  to be in the forefront of the nation. What are those totals for SC and how can we continue to protect important landscapes. 

Michelle:

KVLT has protected almost 12,000 acres of land in the region. Anyone interested in protecting their property in its existing condition can contact KVLT to learn more mevans@kvlt.org or 803-285-5801.

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