A new 900-acre tract of land in Charleston County will be protected from future development as part of an effort to restore South Carolina’s disappearing longleaf pine forests.
The South Carolina Nature Conservancy announced last week has sold the Tibwin Plantation property near McClellanville to the US Forest Service. The $2.4 million sale was far lower than the price the Conservancy acquired the land from International Paper in 2007, just before the real estate market collapsed. The site will now become part of the 259,000-acre Francis Marion National Forest.
Director of Science and Stewardship Eric Krueger said the Conservancy has spent the past decade working to gradually bring longleaf pines to the tract. The Forest Service has made restoring the forests one of its priorities, estimating that only about three percent of the longleaf forest remains from its historical range. Krueger said his teams worked to replace the loblolly trees planted by loggers with the native longleaf.