A natural heritage/resources inventory is currently being conducted by the Piedmont Land Conservancy within the corridor. This inventory has already documented a number of areas of sensitive wetlands within the corridor area, as well as significant finds of rare and endangered species such as the Cape Fear Shiner. The acquisition of conservation easements as a part of the corridor will allow for the creation and maintenance of a "green way" along a considerable length of the river which will provide for the protection of these areas.
In addition, green space and conservation areas created as a part of the Corridor would provide buffer zones that would help to effect improvements in water quality, decrease bank erosion and address river access issues.
Finally, the planned development of a series of river front linear parks within the participating communities provides not only much needed conservation of natural areas, but also outdoor recreation opportunities near urban areas.
The designation of the region as a heritage corridor allows for additional tax incentives and options which make the donation of easements and conservation trust more attractive to the surrounding land owners and facilitate the development of these projects.
Recreation Development A "Rails to Trails Corridor" plan is currently underway which is developing a network of hiking/biking trails utilizing an existing abandoned rail bed which runs parallel to the river for approximately 50% of the corridor. It is expected that ultimately these trails will be linked to other existing trails throughout the Piedmont region.
The Deep River Canoe Trail is already underway and can only be enhanced by the creation of the Corridor. In conjunction with the development of linear park facilities and greenways, the Corridor will enhance the existing series of canoe/tube trails and add additional entry points along the corridor allowing for the linkage of historic and heritage sites by a water corridor.
The "Linear Park/Green way/Conservation Areas" plan will join the historic/heritage sites through the development of a series of river front linear parks, conservation areas and recreation areas. The segments of this have already been developed adjacent to the river at the Franklinville Manufacturing site in Franklinville and at the river front recreation park in Randleman and in Jamestown. Many of the rural counties included in the Corridor are currently well below both the state and national minimums for recreation areas. This plan will directly address that issue.
Land Preservation A major component of the Deep River Corridor project is the acquisition of undeveloped land adjacent to the river throughout the corridor through the use of land trusts and conservation trusts and in conjunction with the municipalities along the corridor. This land will be used for greenways/trails development, conservation areas and "satellite" parks throughout the Corridor.
The Land Preservation Development Plan will be created as a joint project with the Piedmont Land Conservancy and Yadkin/Pee Dee Lakes Region in order to compliment and enhance the current programs underway by those organizations within the region.
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