Foothills Conservancy protects 182 acres in Buffalo Cove area of Caldwell County

MORGANTON, NC (February 17, 2022) – On Feb. 15, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina acquired 182 acres along Buffalo Creek in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Caldwell County. Located roughly between Lenoir and Blowing Rock, this property adjoins the Buffalo Cove Game Land owned by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

“This project is another example of great partnership and collaboration between Foothills Conservancy and the Wildlife Resources Commission to protect more conservation land and to expand public hunting and fishing opportunities on the Buffalo Cove Game Land,” said Andrew Kota, Foothills Conservancy’s executive director. “This beautiful section of Caldwell County will now be permanently protected and available soon for the public to visit. We thank the landowners, our supporters and the private conservationists who made this possible.”

Photo courtesy of the Foothills Conservancy staff.

Foothills Conservancy purchased the property from landowners Jim and Sharon Hawkins, who share a goal of preserving its scenic beauty. “It was important to us that our land remained permanently protected and undeveloped,” the Hawkins explained. “We really appreciate Foothills Conservancy’s help in preserving this land.”

In the coming months, Foothills Conservancy will continue to monitor the property for environmental quality before transferring ownership of the land to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to be added to the Buffalo Cove Game Land.

“We are very fortunate to have Foothills Conservancy as a partner in conservation. Their efforts through the years have been invaluable to the Wildlife Resource Commission’s game land program,” said Paul Thompson, northern mountains land management biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. “This acquisition will help solidify conserved lands within the Yadkin-Pee Dee River basin and provide additional protection to Buffalo Creek and its tributaries. We’re excited about the property being added to Buffalo Cove Game Land, providing additional public access and opportunities for wildlife-related activities.”

Photo courtesy of the Foothills Conservancy staff.

This purchase was made possible through support from conservation philanthropists Fred and Alice Stanback, a private conservationist, a grant from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, and Foothills Conservancy’s Land Acquisition Fund, a revolving source of funds that the land trust uses to cover land purchases and transaction costs.

This parcel is the latest of several Foothills Conservancy projects in Caldwell County. In July 2021, the conservancy protected 118 acres in the county’s Globe area, along the Johns River, as well as 322 acres with two miles of river frontage along Wilson Creek in April 2021.

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is a nationally accredited regional land trust that inspires conservation in Western North Carolina by permanently protecting land and water for the benefit of people and all living things. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Foothills Conservancy serves eight counties: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell, and Rutherford, in three major river basins: the Broad, Catawba, and Yadkin. Information about Foothills Conservancy, including ways to support its work, can be found online at or by calling 828-437-9930.

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