historic Plantersville property benefits over
8,000 acres of neighboring conserved lands
SC —January 4, 2017—The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the conservation
of a key property that will safeguard drinking water while protecting history
and wildlife habitat along coastal South Carolina’s celebrated Pee Dee River.
recently slated for a subdivision, the 39-acre “McTeer-Samworth Farms” property
is now planned for incorporation into the South Carolina Department of Natural
Resources’ Samworth Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Purchased by OSI for
$212,000, the property contains unimproved forests and wetlands.
Avoided development of McTeer-Samworth Farms (map here)
benefits over 8,000 neighboring acres, including Samworth WMA and other
privately eased lands. These lands are actively managed to restore and maintain
longleaf pine forest, habitat for the federally-endangered Red-cockaded
Woodpecker, and a host of other rare species.
“The protection of McTeer-Samworth Farms will benefit
generations to come, as well as the species that depend upon this ecologically
critical portion of coastal South Carolina,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s President
and CEO. “We thank our partners the South Carolina Department of Natural
Resources for its impressive legacy in protecting this invaluable coastal
“The McTeer tract is a key piece of a larger land protection
project that DNR has been working on with our partners,” said Alvin Taylor,
Director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. “It is vital to
maintaining the integrity of the Samworth Wildlife Management Area and the
Scenic Plantersville Highway in Georgetown County.”
Located close to a surface water intake for Horry and
Georgetown Counties along the Waccamaw River (part of the larger Pee Dee River
watershed), the property’s fringe pine-hardwood forests and forested wetlands
will help protect drinking water for local residents by filtering and recharging
water resources. Future management could also support mature-forested wetlands
and longleaf pine forest, ideal habitat for rare and threatened species.
Acquisition of McTeer-Samworth Farms also fulfills scenic
and cultural objectives of the Plantersville Scenic Byway, a 12-mile route
adjacent to the Pee Dee River with many sites related to the region’s historic
rice culture. The National Register of Historic Places recognizes the Pee Dee
River Rice Planter’s Historic District for its significance during the Colonial
rice plantation era.
Itself formerly the site of historic Richland Plantation
(circa 1779), Samworth WMA is now a significant recreational area and access
point along the Pee Dee scenic river corridor, offering hiking, bird watching,
hunting, a picnic area, and popular boat landing. A recent Pee Dee Scenic River
public input survey revealed that Samworth WMA’s landing ranked fourth out of
19 access points as “most frequently used to access the scenic river.”
Looking ahead, the McTeer-Samworth Farms property is planned
to be incorporated into the Samworth WMA in the coming years.