CRESCENT RESOURCES ENTERS INTO AGREEMENT TO SELL NEARLY 3,000 ACRES OF LAKE JAMES PROPERTY TO STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
Lake James, N.C., Aug. 19, 2004 … Crescent Resources, LLC has agreed to sell 2,915 acres of property on Lake James in Burke County to the state of North Carolina for the expansion of Lake James State Park. To facilitate the transaction, Crescent Resources will make a one-time gift of $12.25 million to the state.
"For close to four decades, Crescent has had the great privilege of managing these 2,915 acres,” said Art Fields, Crescent's president and CEO. “Significant time and effort have gone into developing an overall plan that creates a regional economic driver for the Lake James Region. Expanding the state park at
The overall plan is the result of two years of intensive planning discussions between Crescent and interested stakeholders, including officials from Burke and McDowell counties, the business and development communities, the Foothills Conservancy, the Citizens to Save Lake James, the Lake James Task Force and the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represented the interests of the Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited and other conservation groups.
"This is an historic day,” said Tom Johnson, chair of the Burke County Commission. “Not only are we preserving the natural attributes of this property and the lake, we are creating a major opportunity to diversify our economy. The expanded state park will serve as a catalyst for further development of tourism-related destinations and businesses. With an unprecedented spirit of cooperation, the county, state, Crescent Resources, environmental groups and citizens came together and found common ground in their needs and long-term goals."
"This addition will immediately move
Financing the park expansion will be possible as a result of legislation by the 2004 N.C. General Assembly. It allows certificates of participation to be issued for park projects and military buffer acquisitions. Those would be repaid with a portion of future revenues into the three natural resource trust funds -- Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage and Clean Water Management. The Parks and Recreation and Natural Heritage trust funds are supported by the state's tax on real estate deed transfers.
Since its creation in 1987,
The division's planners will soon begin revising the park's master plan with input from the citizens' Park Advisory Committee. That master plan will be used to guide the park's development.
"With the spectacular Linville Gorge and Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop, Lake James deserves special attention and careful stewardship," said Susie Hamrick Jones, executive director of the Foothills Conservancy, a regional land trust which has worked closely with state and local officials, Crescent, other conservation groups and citizens to facilitate a park expansion. "Thanks to Crescent's generosity and leadership, the state and county's foresight, and the citizens who have worked to protect the lake, these lands which shelter bald eagles and feed clean waters into
Crescent Resources, LLC is a land management and real estate development company. Formed more than 40 years ago by Duke Energy, the company has land interests in nine states in the southeast and southwestern
The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the lead stewardship agency for the preservation and protection of
More information, photos and maps are available on the Internet at www.crescent-resources.com/news.asp