ORTON PLANTATION, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — A conservation easement that protects approximately 2 ½ miles of critical habitat along Allen’s Creek at Orton Plantation has been completed by the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust and Orton Plantation Holdings, LLC. which is owned by conservation philanthropist Louis Bacon.
The 256-acre tract protected follows the run of Allen’s Creek, with streamside buffer along both sides of Allen’s Creek protected from any future development. The conservation easement will protect fish and wildlife, and will protect water quality and wetlands. The area along Allen’s Creek is heavily used by wildlife and is home to cypress, sweetbay, red maple, black gum, tupelo gum and a variety of oak, hickory and pines.
The conservation easement was given to the Coastal Land Trust at no cost as part of an agreement between the US Army Corps of Engineers and Orton Plantation Holdings, LLC in which the Corps issued a permit for the restoration of Orton’s historic rice fields along the Cape Fear River.
“This is one of the most extensive stretches of creek front we have ever received in one transaction,” said Camilla Herlevich, Executive Director of the Coastal Land Trust. “We are delighted to have been selected by Orton Plantation and the Corps as the long-term steward of this conservation easement. All the creeks and ponds at Orton, including Allen’s Creek, are very significant from a conservation standpoint.”
“The protection of our fishery, wildlife, forests, water quality and wetlands that this easement at Allen’s Creek guarantees is part of a larger conservation plan that we are currently undertaking at Orton Plantation,” said Louis Bacon, owner of Orton Plantation. “We are excited to work with the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust to ensure that this beautiful piece of land is preserved and protected for generations to come.”
This conservation easement also complements existing easements held by the Coastal Land Trust over other tracts at Orton Plantation and at nearby lands including Goose Landing Plantation, Clarendon Plantation, Old Town Plantation and Pleasant Oaks Plantation. Brunswick Nature Park, the nearby public nature park, which is owned and managed by Brunswick County, is the centerpiece of more than 10,000 acres of conservation lands protected by the Coastal Land Trust in the vicinity.