Ducks Unlimited helps permanently protect wildlife habitat, water quality in N.C.

Alcoa Tuckertown Lake

Ducks Unlimited (DU) has supported an effort by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Three Rivers Land Trust to permanently preserve more than 2,400 acres and 31 miles of shoreline along Tuckertown Reservoir and the Yadkin-Pee Dee River.

“Ducks Unlimited appreciates the support of the many companies, foundations and individuals that made our role in this important land protection project possible,” said Will Johnson, DU director of development for the Carolinas. “Project sponsors included Wrangler®, the Dickson Foundation, Inc., Williams, Hillsdale Fund, the Top Family Foundation, Vulcan Materials Company, TrialCard, Covia and individual DU donors.”

This purchase took place pursuant to the 2007 Yadkin River Relicensing Settlement Agreement in which Alcoa offered the State of North Carolina and/or Three Rivers Land Trust (formerly The Land Trust for Central North Carolina) the opportunity to purchase these lands for conservation purposes. In September 2019, Phase I of the Alcoa Lands Project was completed, protecting 2,463 acres and 45 miles of shoreline along High Rock Lake. Now with the closure of Phase II Tuckertown, this project has conserved over 4,800 acres and 76 miles of shoreline along the Yadkin-Pee Dee.

The Wildlife Commission closed on the purchase of 2,424 acres, including 31 miles of shoreline along the eastern shore of the Tuckertown Reservoir in Davidson and Montgomery counties in September. After completing this second phase of the Alcoa lands acquisition, the Wildlife Commission also announced the formal name change of these lands to the Yadkin River Game Land.

The lands purchase is imperative to protect Tuckertown water quality, used by many communities as a water supply. The water that flows into and out of the Tuckertown Reservoir is a part of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River, which provides 1.7 million people water every day.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment, and we are thankful to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program, the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, Three Rivers Land Trust, The Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited, and all of our other funding partners who realized the importance of this acquisition and worked so diligently to make it happen,” said Cameron Ingram, executive director of the Wildlife Commission. “Conserving these lands for public access, water quality and wildlife habitat perfectly aligns with our agency’s mission to protect our state’s natural resources.”

DU was a critical partner in both phases, bringing multiple, diverse supporters together to help fund the acquisitions and leverage available public funding.