For information on the protection of property in Anson, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, and Stanly counties,
contact Kevin Redding.
In 1955, Milton Crowther, a New England Native, relocated to Salisbury
to work as a chemical engineer for Proctor Chemical Company. With
a keen interest in birds and wildlife and a yearning to be surrounded
by nature, the chemist and his wife Louise were drawn to a lush forest
of 215 acres just ten minutes from downtown Salisbury. Another
unique characteristic of the property that drew the Crowthers to the
site was the 1.5 miles of frontage along the South Yadkin River.
This feature is also what first caught the attention of The
LandTrust. With our ongoing effort to promote water quality in
this region, the densely forested river shoreline is extremely
significant, especially in light of the fact that the Salisbury pump
station, that supplies drinking water to much of Rowan County, lies
adjacent. But the site also is ecologically significant for the
functioning wetlands it is home to, as well as the locally significant
"Pickler's Bluff" (as identified by Dr. Michael Baranski in his natural
area inventory of Rowan County).
Another key factor that
attracted the interest of The LandTrust to the property was its
proximity to another permanently protected site on the river. The
Crowther tract is situated just two small tracts to the south of the
300 acre South Yadkin Refuge purchased by The LandTrust in 1999.
These two protected tracts will guarantee a 3.5 mile nearly continuous
buffer along the South Yadkin River. And not only does this
property represent the end of residential encroachment on the South
Yadkin River at the water pump station, but the impressive hardwood
forest hosts a unique variety of wildlife, game, and migratory and
native waterfowl. In fact, Milton, an avid birder, also
participated in the inaugural turkey production program in the 1980s
and 1990s, which ultimately saw the release of countless turkeys into
the wild. Today, Milton's birds are known to inhabit many tracts
in Rowan, Davie, and Davidson counties. And if you visit the
Crowther Farm today, you'll still see an eclectic collection of jungle
fowl, toulousse geese, multiple species of pheasant (Japanese Green,
Silver, and Elliot), wood duck, peacocks, and numerous dove species.
Milton says, "I seen what's gone on around us in some places and I just
don't want that to happen here. It's too beautiful."
Speaking of the clear cut forests and unsightly development that has
sprung up nearby, Milton and Louise want assurances that their
land…their home, will be preserved for future generations.
These considerations lead the Crowthers to graciously sell the property
to The LandTrust, so as to effectively extend the boundaries of the
South Yadkin Refuge to 515 acres.
The Crowther's steadfast
commitment to conservation and preservation is matched only by the
immense ecological value their land provides to the region. We
are very fortunate to have them as a part of The LandTrust family and
cannot overstate our eternal gratitude for their cooperation and
willingness to collaborate on this critical land protection effort.
This project is being made possible through a generous grant from the
Clean Water Management Trust Fund and the late Elizabeth Stanback.