The forests of the southern United States are some of the most biologically diverse in the country. When managed sustainably, these working forests—both public and private—protect biodiversity, wildlife habitat, water supplies, recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and jobs for more than 1.6 million Americans.

The Conservation Fund and its partners, the state of South Carolina and The Nature Conservancy completed the largest habitat conservation purchase in state history with the acquisition of 39,000 acres of working forestland, recreational lands and wildlife habitat.

This purchase included two forest parcels from International Paper: 25,668-acres in Marion County known as the Woodbury tract and 13,281-acres in Hampton County known as Hamilton Ridge. The Fund and The Nature Conservancy jointly acquired the properties in 2006, and an undivided interest in the land was immediately transferred to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

In addition to providing recreational opportunities, these forests protect large tracts of habitat for several important wildlife and aquatic species, including such birds as the Kentucky warbler, the Louisiana waterthrush, the rusty blackbird, the swallow-tailed kite, Swainson’s warbler and others. The protection of these tracts will provide river corridor protection to 27 miles on the Great Pee Dee, 11 miles on the Little Pee Dee and 8 miles on the Savannah River. Portions will also remain in timber production as working forests under sustainable management, thus continuing to provide jobs and maintain the local economy.

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Places We Protect: Wild Havens