October 10, 2008

NS Donates Conservation Easement

By Anonymous

Some of the most ecologically significant land in the U.S. will be protected permanently through a conservation easement donated by Norfolk Southern to the Lowcountry Open Land Trust. The easement is thought to be one of the largest in the Southeast and the largest ever by a corporation in South Carolina. NS, through two subsidiaries, has granted an easement on 12,488 acres of its Brosnan Forest timber and wildlife preserve near Dorchester, S.C., 35 miles northwest of Charleston. The property is near the 15,000-acre Francis Beidler Forest, which is owned and operated by the National Audubon Society. Beidler Forest and the surrounding rural lands make up a 450,000-acre watershed for Four Holes Swamp.

The undeveloped land is the largest corporately held and privately protected property in South Carolina. Norfolk Southern and its predecessors have held much of the Brosnan Forest lands for more than 160 years. The property straddles the historic route of the Charleston-Hamburg Railroad line, the first steam-powered railway in the United States and, at 136 miles, the longest in the world at that time. The conservation easement will preserve Brosnan Forest's natural and historic value by prohibiting subdivision and development of the property. Copyright Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation Sep 2008

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