By VICKI BROWN
The first settlement of Colleton County called Willtown, and once located on the Edisto River near Jacksonboro, is now under permanent protection and part of the ACE Basin.
On May 7, 2021, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced the permanent protection of Charleston County’s third-largest undeveloped property through a conservation easement. The 2,101-acre Willtown Tract shares more than one mile of its border with the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge and contributes to a 29-mile contiguous corridor of natural habitats for wildlife.
According to Jennifer Howard, spokesperson for TNC, “A conservation easement like the one now protecting Willtown keeps a property in private ownership, promoting conservation values, by limiting its future development. In this case, the easement held by TNC restricts the number of times the property can be divided for home lots and supports agricultural, forestry, and recreational uses,” said Howard.
“Willtown is a very large property, but the impact of its protection is even larger,” says Dale Threatt-Taylor, executive director, TNC, South Carolina. “The forested land will help filter and clean the water that drains from Willtown into the Edisto River and eventually the ecologically rich St. Helena Sound. And by keeping that forest working, as the conservation easement allows, will support local jobs and South Carolina’s timber industry.”
Willtown is located near the…