Land Trust secures funds for Paint Rock River preservation

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Paint Rock River in North Alabama is one of the most diverse rivers in Alabama. (Land Trust of North Alabama)

The Land Trust of North Alabama was able to secure funds to purchase property along the Paint Rock River for preservation purposes, and made the funding goal just ahead of the deadline.

The Land Trust launched a fundraising effort back in June to acquire 91 acres of land along Paint Rock River, with the aim of an extensive wetland restoration project along the watershed. They had a deadline of Nov. 1 to raise $223,000.

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Paint Rock River preservation efforts succeed

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The Land Trust was able to raise the funds needed to purchase 91 acres along Paint Rock River. (Land Trust of North Alabama)

The Paint Rock River is known as one of the Southeast’s last free-flowing rivers and one of the most biologically diverse in the world with around 50 state or federally-listed species found within the river and its tributaries.

The Land Trust of North Alabama can now purchase and protect a property in Jackson County, primarily lowland farmland, which includes approximately 2/3 mile of Paint Rock River frontage.

The Paint Rock River Valley as a whole is incredibly important in terms of conservation value due to the high diversity of species, particularly aquatic and plant life, found there.

Future preservation plans for Paint Rock River

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About 23 acres of the 91-acre property are currently enrolled in a Riparian Forest Buffer program. (Land Trust of North Alabama)

Future plans for property management include an extensive wetland restoration project to restore the land to a more natural condition as a bottomland hardwood forest.

Just over 23 acres of the 91-acre property are currently enrolled in a Riparian Forest Buffer program part of the Conservation Reserve Program administered by the Farm Service Agency, which means trees have been planted or preserved alongside the river to provide a buffer for erosion and runoff.

This transition would conclude agricultural use of the property, which is only marginally productive due to regular flooding, and enhance habitat for wildlife and protection of the river corridor. As a conservation property, it will not be open to public access.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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