For information on the protection of property in Anson, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, and Stanly counties,
contact Kevin Redding.
A 300-acre peninsula in Stanly County, long appreciated for its scenic
beauty by visitors to Morrow Mountain State Park and Lake Tillery, is
preserved through two conservation easements donated to the LandTrust
by Mrs. Rebecca R. Smith and the family of Dr. & Mrs. Whitman E.
Smith, Jr. of Albemarle.
Known as Wesfell, the peninsula is located at the mouth of Mountain
Creek and the Pee Dee River (which at that point forms Lake
Tillery). It encompasses nearly a mile of lakefront shoreline,
including steep slopes of hardwood forest along Lake Tillery, and forms
a natural and scenic buffer to Morrow Mountain State Park. The
property has been in the Smith family for several generations, and they
still maintain a private home there.
One of the few recorded
nesting sites of the bald eagle in the lower Yadkin-Pee Dee River
corridor of North Carolina was found near Wesfell several years ago on
state property. Mountain Creek also provides habitat for many
different species of waterfowl and is one of the favorite spots for
area fishing enthusiasts.
The Smith family has a long history
of concern for conservation issues. In the late 1930's, the late
W. Erskine Smith (Mrs. Rebecca Smith's husband and the father of Dr.
Whitman Smith, Jr.) played an important role in the establishment of
Morrow Mountain State Park. As a state senator representing
Stanly County at the time, he led the effort to pass legislation for
the creation of Morrow Mountain as North Carolina's third state park,
and was instrumental in obtaining the necessary state funding.
family has always had a love for the outdoors, and particularly this
special place on the river and at the foot of Morrow Mountain," states
Dr. Smith, a board member of The LandTrust. "In many ways, we
feel that this easement is our way of extending the conservation legacy
established by my father."
The Smith family gift is the
second conservation easement to provide a buffer to the state park,
joining the one donated by Lynn Chivington in 1997 to honor the memory
of her mother. Tim McCree, Superintendent of Morrow Mountain
State Park, stated, "I commend the Smith and Chivington families for
their generous gifts, and hope that other landowners along our borders
will consider doing the same."