You just never know who’s going to walk into Great Outdoor Provision Co. on Land Trust Day. This year, a customer lingered at the Coastal Land Trust’s exhibit and casually mentioned that his family ran a hog operation on their family farm.  We told him that the Coastal Land Trust actually had worked with several hog farmers, protecting streams along their farms through conservation easements. The customer, now interested, started asking about the tax benefits to landowners who donate conservation easements; and I was able to explain them to him. Then Jesica Blake, our Stewardship Director, joined the conversation, and asked him where his land was located—he said it was about 1,000 acres on the Northeast Cape Fear River. We told him that the Northeast Cape Fear River is one of the Coastal Land Trust’s priorities—we already have lots of protected land in this watershed.

The owner then offered to “eat his hat” if Jesica could tell him, right there, where his family land was located. Well, Jesica solved the riddle, but the customer didn’t eat his hat! But we do hope that we’ll be working with a GOPC customer and hog farmer later this year—to protect some critical land along the Northeast Cape Fear.

Camilla Herlevich
NC Coastal Land Trust