In announcing a loan to protect a 434-acre tract of land in the ecologically significant Highlands of Roan, the Open Space Conservancy, the land acquisition affiliate of the Open Space Institute (OSI), continues to expand its Conservation Finance Program. Joining with the Lyndhurst Foundation, OSI unveils a new $4.4 million fund to help accelerate the protection of wildlife habitat throughout the Southern Appalachians.
Through the collaboration, OSI and Lyndhurst will provide low-interest loans and grants to land trusts in western North Carolina and northwest Georgia to protect lands identified in State Wildlife Action Plans federally-mandated habitat assessments that identify priority wildlife and natural areas to conserve before they become more rare and costly to protect.
The $1 million bridge financing, the first loan offered through the new fund, helped the Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) to purchase the Powdermill tract, the protection of which was a conservation priority in the State of North Carolina’s State Wildlife Action Plan. The purchase of this 434-acre property eliminates the threat of residential development and protects the area’s biological, scenic and watershed values while providing critical habitat for rare and endangered species.