Property owners – Riverstone Group, L.L.C. – want to clear-cut Cove Swamp – Video

The state is offering to buy the land from Riverstone for about $700,000, but the company said it wants about $50,000 more.

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March 19, 2009

Reported by Max Winitz
Posted by Debra Worley 
Updated by Kristy Ondo

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Residents gathered in Columbus County Thursday night to figure out how to save a large piece of land from being clear cut for timber.

Cove Swamp is a 440 acre crescent shaped tract of timberland that borders much of the canal along Canal Cove between Weaver Street and Cove Canal Road.

The owner of the property, The Riverstone Group, L.L.C., wants to clear cut the timber soon, which will leave the area looking like the swampland that was clear cut in 2008 along Business 74-76, east of Whiteville.

“It’s an important swamp,” said state park ranger Chris Helms.  “It does what swamps do and that is, it helps filter the water.  Sediments and things like that come out before it gets in the lake.”

Residents are concerned that clear cutting the area will potentially damage the ecology and water quality of Lake Waccamaw as well as hurt surrounding property values.

“It could degrade the water quality in the lake,” said David Scott.  “It would greatly effect the species that make this lake a unique eco system, and it would effect the recreational potential of the lake.”

The yellow belly slider is just one of many species that lives in the swamp, and advocates are worried if it’s destroyed, the species won’t have a place to live.

The state is offering to buy the land from Riverstone for about $700,000, but the company said it wants about $50,000 more.

Thursday night, residents took matters into their own hands by working to raise the extra money Riverstone wants.  According to Scott, about 125 people attended the meeting.  They raised about $23,000 in cash and pledges.  That still leaves $27,000 more that Scott and other residents are hoping they can raise before the deadline of July 1.

Note – You can go to the link below to donate.  I just could not bring myself to post that information.  They have more than enough money already.  katy 

wect.com

Video – Cove Swamp
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