Group wants to preserve land near Revolutionary battle sites
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — A group is encouraging people living near several Revolutionary War battlefields in South Carolina to maintain a rural setting surrounding the sites.
More than 1,000 landowners near three sites have been contacted to see if they are interested in helping to preserve land near the battlefields, the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported.
Those being contacted live near the Cowpens National Battlefield east of Chesnee, The Kings Mountain National Military Park east of Blacksburg and the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site south of Cross Anchor.
Andrew Waters with the Spartanburg Area Conservancy says preserving the land near battlefields would increase tourism and economic development, preserve American heritage and for trails and to improve outdoor recreation development.
Only a handful of landowners have responded so far.
Waters said the group hopes more landowners will express interest in having their land placed under conservation easement. But there is no pressure for landowners to participate, he said.
"Our goal is to preserve viewsheds and the rural characteristics of the entranceways to the parks," Waters said. "There's no deadline for landowners to respond."
Ben Richardson, with the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks Group, said preserving land near the battlefields would help prevent development near the park boundaries.
"It's all completely voluntary and not a federal land grab," Richardson said.
In most cases, the areas where battles were fought extend beyond the current park boundaries.
The National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program provided the Spartanburg Area Conservancy with a $32,000 grant to hire a consultant and map areas near the battlefields.
Information from: Herald-Journal, http://www.goupstate.com/