Funding for the acquisition of the Needmore Tract represented a partnership among EEP, The Nature Conservancy, the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, the N.C. Natural Heritage Trust Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and private donors.
EEP Project Manager: Stephanie Horton
The Needmore tract is among the largest EEP High Quality Preservation sites and is managed as gamelands by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Three federally listed endangered aquatic species in the bordering Little Tennessee River were protected through the acquisition.
The property includes 26 miles of the Little Tennessee River and 37 miles of tributary streams, and links the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with U.S. Forest Service lands, providing an extensive wildlife corridor. The Department of Transportation funded this project through EEP to offset unavoidable environmental impacts from transportation-infrastructure improvements.
Acquisition date: 1/15/04
To qualify as high quality preservation sites, each parcel was approved for acquisition by an interagency committee comprised of staff from conservation organizations and regulatory agencies. These preservation sites add to existing conserved lands, contain critical habitats and rare or endangered species, protect outstanding resource waters and water-supply watersheds, or are significant natural areas.
The N.C. Ecosystem Enhancement Program's mission is to restore and protect North Carolina’s natural resources for future generations while supporting responsible economic development.
EEP utilizes receipts from its programs to restore streams and wetlands where the need is greatest by working with state and local partners, including willing landowners. The N.C. Department of Transportation and other developers voluntarily use EEP to move projects forward in a timely and affordable manner.