Project #296McCluskey Ferry Rd, Gadsden, AL 35903, USA
Property Type: Working Farm
One of the many joys we get as a land trust is from conserving working farms. Sometimes we get the added bonus of protecting a farm that harbors habitat for endangered or threatened species. In 2018 we were able to protect just such a property.
This and an adjacent working farm cover approximately 1,200 acres in Cherokee County, Alabama. Both farms currently produce cotton. Typically containing more productive soils on relatively flat topography, agricultural lands are prime territory for development as they more readily lend themselves to conversion. With human populations ever-increasing, conserving farmlands so that they can continue to supply generations to come with food and fiber is one of several focal points we have as a conservancy.
With 8,217 linear feet of river frontage along the Coosa River, much of the boundary of this property, along with interior forested wetlands, provide habitat for numerous species including two State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) Watch List Species: the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus) and northern flicker (Colaptes auratus). In addition, the section of the river that flows along the property is considered a Strategic River Reach Unit in the SWAP. On top of all of this, a rare species element occurrence provided by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Section had a state threatened species observed on the property. The best part? During one of the site visits conducted by the biologist the threatened species was observed to still be present along the river. One of the many reasons we continue to push to conserve important lands.