Piedmont Land Conservancy has acquired 354 acres of forestland along the Mayo River in northwest Rockingham County to improve access for outdoor enthusiasts.
The acquisition represents one of the largest the non-profit has completed in its 26-year history. The funding comes from Duke Energy and will expand public access to the river near the Mayo River State Park, a 2,187-acre site near Mayodan.
“Duke Energy is committed to the long-term protection of the Dan River and the ecosystems it supports,” said David Montgomery, Duke Energy district manager for the Dan River basin. “Protecting these natural treasures is important to ensuring these resources can be enjoyed today and for years to come.”
Duke Energy provided $1.1 million to help Piedmont Land Conservancy acquire the land as a potential early restoration project to address recreational and ecosystem impacts in the Dan River watershed following the coal ash spill two years ago near Eden as part of the cooperative Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration.
For the past several decades, the property has been tied up in a complicated series of estates, trusts and other legal proceedings. But the Conservancy waited patiently, working with the landowners because the non-profit saw what this land acquisition meant to the region – preserving the Dan River’s natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.
The land acquisition will now allow more access for canoes, kayaks, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts.
“PLC is in the business of forever,” said Kevin Redding, the Conservancy’s executive director. “Sometimes it takes almost that long to protect important natural resources like this property.”
Piedmont Land Conservancy has now conserved more than 200 special places, totaling more than 22,500 acres.