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January 22, 2010

S.C. Journalist Field Day at historic Belfast Plantation

MEDIA MEMBERS ARE INVITED!

WHAT: S.C. Journalist Field Day at Historic Belfast Plantation

WHEN: Friday, January 29, 2010 starting at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Belfast Plantation, 9830 Hwy 56 South, Kinards, SC. The Belfast property is located in Newberry and Laurens counties just south of the intersection of Hwy 56 and Hwy 560.

WHY: Tour one of South Carolina’s historic treasures recently put into the public land trust through the S.C. Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Wildlife Management Area program.
 
WHO: DNR, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Conservation Fund and the S.C. Conservation Bank are working together to raise awareness about the property and funds to complete the purchase of Belfast Plantation.
 
Join us for lunch inside the beautiful, historic Belfast Plantation home following the tour.

The NWTF, DNR, S.C. Conservation Bank and the Conservation Fund are hosting a fundraiser March 9, 2010 at Leeside in Columbia to help purchase the property.

For more information, or to RSVP for the Journalist Field Day at Historic Belfast Plantation, contact Mike Willis with DNR at WillisM@dnr.sc.gov or Brian Dowler with the NWTF at bdowler@nwtf.net           
 
About the Plantation

Historic Belfast Plantation, 4,664 acres along Highway 56 in Newberry and Laurens counties, became a DNR Wildlife Management Area and was part of the draw hunt system during the 2009 S.C. spring turkey season.
           
Initial funding for the project was provided through grants from the S.C. Conservation Bank, the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Legacy Program, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These grants were matched with Heritage Trust funds and a donation from the National Wild Turkey Federation.
           
The tract includes various habitat types ranging from hardwood drains to upland loblolly pine forests. The property was settled in 1785 by Colonel John Simpson from Belfast, Ireland. It is currently one of the oldest structures in Laurens County and is in excellent condition.  DNR intends to utilize this facility for educational and interpretive opportunities on natural resource issues and as a key area for promoting outdoor activities for youth.
           
DNR holds title to the northern half of the property, totaling 2,228 acres. The Conservation Fund is holding title to the 2,436 acre southern half of the property while DNR secures additional funding to complete the project. The Conservation Fund is allowing DNR to manage its half in conjunction with the remaining area as part of the Wildlife Management Area program.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.


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