A popular area for hunters and hikers, the game lands encompass about two thirds of Three Top’s steep ridgeline and slopes. BRC’s recent acquisition is located above another tract of land the organization helped acquire in 2009. The 2009 project purchased land along Ben Bolen Road, giving the game lands a needed road-point access.
“It’s very rewarding to build on the success of our past projects here,” explained Eric Hiegl, BRC’s Co-Deputy Director of Land Protection. “Because of willing landowners, we’ve been able to protect important natural land, and significantly enhance access to Three Top Mountain’s Game Lands.”
The newly acquired property is entirely forested and hosts a diverse array of wildlife. The NC Wildlife Resources Commission will own and manage the land within its statewide system of game lands.
“Our partnership with Wildlife Resources has been enormously effective,” said Walter Clark, BRC’s Executive Director. “From Pond Mountain to Three Top, this partnership has enabled us to add well over 2,000 acres to our state’s game lands system. We look forward to working with the WRC for years to come.”
BRC was able to complete the acquisition with funding from the NC Natural Heritage Trust Fund, and a private donation from Fred and Alice Stanback through the Charlotte-based Foundation for the Carolinas.
The mission of Blue Ridge Conservancy is to protect the natural resources of northwestern North Carolina by conserving land with significant agricultural, ecological, cultural, recreational or scenic value. Serving landowners in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey counties, Blue Ridge Conservancy has protected close to 16,000 acres.