Mountain Bog in Flat Rock Protected
Once, the French Broad River basin was a network of wetlands stretching through the Appalachian Mountains. In recent centuries, so much of this land was drained that today, mountain bogs are rare. But where they exist, they are havens of biodiversity—home to unique wildflowers, songbirds, waterfowl, salamanders, turtles, and other plants and animals.
Conserving Carolina was able to preserve one of the remnants of this ecosystem in May when we purchased a 52-acre property that contains part of a mountain bog in Flat Rock. The land was slated for development—more than 100 lots ringing the upland portion of the property. “Think about the fertilizer and other pollutants that would run off of those lawns, streets, and driveways,” says Tom Fanslow, Conserving Carolina’s land protection director. “Think about the invasive species that could easily make their way to the bog.”
Instead, Conserving Carolina will manage the property to protect the bog. David Lee, Conserving Carolina’s natural resources manager, says, “An exciting thing about this property is that there’s room for the bog to grow. What is currently dry land could become an extension of the bog.”
Conserving Carolina also manages part of this bog on an adjacent property, in cooperation with the landowners. The bog overlaps a third property, where Conserving Carolina holds a conservation easement.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been a key partner in protecting the bog. Eventually, the goal is to add most of the portion that Conserving Carolina now owns to the Mountain Bogs National Wildlife Refuge—a unique wildlife refuge that is a collection of pockets of this rare natural community.