Client: Unique Places, LLC
Location: Rutherford County, NC
The proposed Box Creek Wilderness Area (BCWA) Stream Mitigation Bank Site (Bank Site) will preserve a network of high-quality, ecologically significant streams and rare natural communities in the Box Creek Wilderness and surrounding natural areas in Rutherford and McDowell Counties in North Carolina. The Bank Site will be established under the BCWA Umbrella Mitigation Bank to provide mitigation to compensate for impacts to Waters of the United States and/or State Waters within Hydrologic Unit 03050105 of the Broad River Basin.
The primary component of the BCWA Mitigation Plan is the preservation of 237,417 linear feet (45 miles) of pristine cool water streams and riparian buffers in the headwaters of the Broad River Basin. Approximately 2,740 acres will be protected under a permanent conservation easement as part of the Bank. Buffer widths on the streams range from 200 feet to 500 feet, at least six times the minimum mandatory buffer width for mitigation. Based on the proposed mitigation effort, the bank site will result in up to 47,483 cool stream credits.
The diversity and rarity of species and natural communities found in the BCWA make it one of the most ecologically significant and unique natural areas in the state. Based on the number of rare species and natural communities documented on the property, a portion of the property (the Box Creek Wilderness Natural Area) ranks in the top 1% of all Natural Areas in the state (on par with flagship natural areas like Roan Mountain and Grandfather Mountain). The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program (NCNHP) designates the Box Creek Wilderness Natural Area as “Exceptional.” This is the highest ranking given by NCNHP, and reflects the number and rarity of imperiled species and natural communities as well as for the high quality of the natural communities.