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NEWS RELEASE #05-129 July 4, 2005 DNR News (803) 734-3950

S.C. CONSERVATION BANK AWARDS OVER $2.2 MILLION

The S.C. Conservation Bank Board at its June 21 meeting in Columbia approved funding for three wildlife habitat protection and conservation projects.

Members of the Board identified the approved projects as significant lands that, if conserved, would improve the quality of life in South Carolina, provide enhanced public access and protect valuable wildlife habitat.

"Total funding approved by the Conservation Bank Board totaled $2,220,000 and protects more than 3,000 acres in seven South Carolina counties," according to Marvin Davant, executive director of the S.C. Conservation Bank in Columbia.

"The protection of these lands represents a partnership between government and a large number of private entities," Davant added. "These lands include a diversity of ecosystems in seven counties."

Projects approved by the Conservation Bank Board include:

$1.5 million for the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy to purchase 2,400 acres adjacent to Four Hole Swamp in the Lowcountry. The contiguous acreage will be added to the Beidler Forest and is located in five counties; Dorchester, Berkeley, Orangeburg, Colleton and Charleston.
$400,000 for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to acquire 434 acres in Chesterfield County. The acquisition will connect three existing Wildlife Management Area (WMA) properties near the Sand Hills National Wildlife Refuge and Sand Hills State Forest.
$320,000 for the Georgetown County Soil and Water Conservation District to purchase a conservation easement on 188 acres containing high bluffs and a large amount of riverfront property along the Pee Dee River in Georgetown County.
The S.C. Conservation Bank is funded through a portion of the state documentary stamp tax. The Bank has operated its administration this fiscal year entirely from interest income from these funds reserving all of its stamp revenues for land conservation.

The Bank Board meets twice a year to consider proposals. The June 21 meeting in Columbia concluded the second application period for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The application deadlines are March 31 and July 31 of each year.

Additional information on the S.C. Conservation Bank is available on the Internet at http://SCCBank.SC.Gov/. Meetings of the S.C. Conservation Bank Board are open to the public. For more information, call (803) 734-3986 in Columbia.

- Written by G. Michael Willis -
 
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