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For information on the protection of property in Anson, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, and Stanly counties,
contact Kevin Redding.

 

Lewis Property

Randolph County

Few easement donors can claim to know as much about the flora and fauna of their property as Mark and Jane Lewis.  Mark, a herpetologist at the N.C. Zoo, can identify any reptile that may slither across the path in front of him. In addition, he has expanded his knowledge to include the vegetative species that abound on the property.  Jane is a self-taught birder who can differentiate a Yellow warbler from a Red-eyed vireo just by hearing a few chirps.  Together they provide a walking source of knowledge about the plants and animals of the Piedmont.

Motivated by their shared love of nature, Mark and Jane have recently donated a conservation easement on a 95-acre portion of their property in southwestern Randolph County.  The remainder of the 142-acre property was previously protected by an easement in conjunction with North Carolina's Ecosystem Enhancement Program, which focused on the pristine riparian buffers along the West Fork of Little River and a small tributary.

Mark and Jane consider themselves true life environmentalists.  Every aspect of their lives is based on finding ways to reduce their impact on the Earth. Their home is completely off the electric grid, heated and powered entirely by solar panels.  They grow many of their own fruits and vegetables in a small garden.  Next to the garden lies a miniature Piedmont prairie where they burn and manage for native warm season grasses and flowers.  The seeds from this prairie are intended to become the local seed source for a much larger prairie they're currently restoring on an adjacent 70 acre property that has recently been acquired.  In their spare time, Mark and Jane can be found roaming the forests of their property just happy to be out enjoying nature. They've worked together to create a life list for their property that includes all of the terrestrial, aquatic and avian species that they've observed.  The latest count totals 128 species of birds, 121 vegetative species, 33 reptiles and amphibians, and 15 mammals.

The property is a prime example of the Uwharrie Mountain landscape.  The uplands are covered with a diverse forest canopy containing chestnut oak, beech, shortleaf pine and various other hardwood species.  The forest floor ranges from relatively open on the uplands to dense mountain laurel thickets near the streams.  It even contains a few relic moonshining sites from many decades ago.  

The streams are also excellent examples of those typically found in the Uwharries.  The West Fork of Little River crosses through the property, where it contains a classification of Nationally Significant Aquatic Habitat.  Known throughout the state for its high water quality and aquatic diversity, this section of the river is just a mile or so downstream from the Pisgah Covered Bridge.  Prior to its confluence with the Little River, a long stretch of an unnamed tributary runs from north to south through the heart of the property.

For Mark and Jane believing in a healthy environment isn't a coffee shop topic or something to be bantered around in political ads.  They see it as a belief that should be incorporated into their daily lives and acted upon.  Thanks to their conservation easement, the Lewis' can now rest assuredly that their 142 acres will always be a place where nature can exist with little interference from man.

© 2006 | The LandTrust for Central North Carolina     PO Box 4284 Salisbury, NC 28145
Physical Address: 215 Depot Street Salisbury, NC 28144 PH 704.647.0302

Contact The LandTrust for Central NC at landtrust@landtrustcnc.org