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Conservation Boundary in Brunswick County Expands by 10 Square Miles

Coastal Land Trust
Fence Cove Pond, Orton Plantation

More than 10 square miles of natural wildlife habitat in Brunswick County are now protected from development. 

One of the largest donations in the history of the Coastal Land Trust means that a broader range of both plant and animal species will likely make Orton Plantation their home.


The conservation easement recently donated by Orton Plantation Owner Louis Bacon to the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust covers 6,442 acres. 

The expansion of the conservation boundary, says Camilla Herlevich, Executive Director of the Coastal Land Trust, means there will be a corresponding expansion of biodiversity in the area.   A wider range of species – from the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, wild turkey, and quail – to larger species – like Black Bears – will be more likely to flourish there. 

Although the land is not open for public recreation, the benefit to the public, says Herlevich, is tremendous. 

“The land is going to be protected from golf courses, and development, and from residential development and that sort of thing.  There are plenty of places in Brunswick County that are appropriate for that sort of development.  But this Cape Fear corridor – we now have more than 16,000 acres protected including this 6,000 – and so there’s a core here of conservation along the Cape Fear Corridor that is not ever going to be developed.”

The newly-conserved natural area will also act as a buffer to nearby Brunswick Nature Park – 900 acres that’s open to the public for hiking, biking, and kayaking.  And since this is a conservation easement but not an ownership change, the financial responsibility for land management remains with Orton Plantation Holdings. 

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.