Nature Conservancy acquires 596 acres at Wheeler Mountain

Plans for the land include adding it to the National Forest System

A glimpse of the acreage at Wheeler Mountain acquired by The Nature Conservancy. TNC hopes to add the property to the National Forest System. Photos by Hunter Nichols/TNC.

The Nature Conservancy in Alabama has acquired a 596-acre tract at Wheeler Mountain in Bibb County. The acquisition is a result of the partnership between Resource Management Service LLC and a three-month campaign through TNC’s Ireland Opportunity Fund, which raised $2 million to make the land purchase.

“Our revolving loan fund enables us to quickly mobilize resources to protect vulnerable lands such as this, and we are grateful to those who supported this endeavor,” said Mitch Reid, TNC Alabama state director.

TNC in Alabama is working with the U.S. Forest Service to add the property to the National Forest System, while it reintroduces prescribed fire management practices to enhance the land’s ecosystem including its 80-to-100-year-old montane longleaf pine forests.

“Much of Alabama’s natural longleaf forests have disappeared over the years, and we did not want to risk this same fate for Wheeler Mountain,” said Reid.

The tract includes Gully Creek, a tributary of the Cahaba River.

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“The Wheeler Mountain property is one of the most diverse natural longleaf pine stands in Alabama,” said Jimmy Bullock, senior vice president forest sustainability for RMS. “Our partnership with the Alabama chapter of the Nature Conservancy enabled a win for conservation and a win for the landowner.”

Resource Management Service LLC is one of the largest providers of timberland investment services, according to its website. Its global corporate headquarters is in Birmingham.

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