Nicks Creek Longleaf Reserve

In December 2019, the Southern Conservation Trust, Inc. (SCT) was donated the 1,660 acres in Moore County, North Carolina that we call Nicks Creek Longleaf Reserve. Previously, the tract of land was slated for development into golf course, hotel/resort, residential and commercial uses. It is now a crown jewel private nature reserve that the SCT is proud to own and manage.

Nicks Creek Longleaf Reserve is a truly unique and vital piece of the Moore County landscape and greater Sandhills region.

The Southern Conservation Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, headquartered in Fayetteville, Georgia but protecting over 73,000 acres in conservation easements, private preserves, and public nature areas across 13 states. Our organization was started in 1993 in Fayette County, Georgia to protect local wetlands and watersheds, and it has remained our mission to preserve land, water, habitat for wildlife, and spaces for public access to nature since that time, even as we have grown throughout the southeast. We operate the Fayette Environmental Education Center at our headquarters, where we are committed to providing educational programs to all ages just a short distance from several public nature areas we manage. The Southern Conservation Trust is dedicated to elevating nature through exceptional stewardship.

With both upland pines and lowland hardwoods, as well as the headwaters of Nicks Creek – an important contribution to the Cape Fear River watershed, and many plant and animal species of conservation concern, Nicks Creek Longleaf Reserve is a truly unique and vital piece of the Moore County landscape and greater Sandhills region.
Among our objectives for this reserve are to:
  • Preserve and enhance the natural resources and conservation values of the property, including but not limited to:

Open space/greenspace visible to the public from two major public roadways, NC-211 and NC-73

Priority habitats including longleaf pine, blackwater stream and floodplain forest, streamhead pocosin and seeps, among other mixed forest types and open/successional areas

Water resources including beaver marsh/wetland, various tributary streams/drainages, and the headwaters of Nicks Creek

Native communities and species important for the Sandhills region (including longleaf pine ecosystem), native and at-risk flora (Sandhills Lily, Chapman’s Redtop, Chapman’s Yellow-eyed Grass, and Harper’s Yellow-eyed Grass), as well as fauna (Southern Fox Squirrels and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers)

  • Host service- and conservation-focused groups
  • Host invited groups and guests for educational and conservation-focused activities
  • Practice receipt-based forestry management, both for sound property management as well as for demonstration purposes for other landowners
  • Provide a venue for field trips, showcases, and events, especially promoting forestry management and enhancement practices
  • Restore more acres to the fire-dependent longleaf pine ecosystem
  • Preserve the history and legacy of the property
  • Be a good and responsible neighbor to our many residential, school, and other preserve neighbors
  • Maintain membership/participation in, and support of, NC Sandhills Conservation Partnership goals and initiatives

SCT will strive to meet these objectives with the help of a number of partners including professional contractors, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Sandhills Prescribed Burn Association, the Sandhills Community Partnership, Duke Energy, foresters and botanists, wildlife biologists, … among others. From 2020 to 2022, we have begun to do so by:

  • Commissioning posting property boundaries

Securing entrances and improving permeable road access to management areas

  • Forming innovative partnerships for forestry site preparation and receipt-based forestry

Implementing USDA-NRCS cost-share funding for pine stand improvement and burning

  • Establishing over 13 miles of firebreaks and over 580 acres of site preparation

Leading a workshop with, and benefiting from the guidance of, the Sandhills PBA

  • Hosting the NC Conservation Corps, and
  • Reintroducing fire to the landscape after a 50+ year absence (!)

Our Conservation Team

Based in Fayetteville, Georgia our talented conservation team is waiting to help you conserve your land.

Katie Pace

CEO & Executive Director


Director of Conservation & Stewardship


Senior Conservation Biologist


Stewardship Associate