Laurens and Newberry Counties are the setting for the sprawling new 4,664-acre Belfast WMA. Historic Belfast Plantation is located along Highway 56 and has been purchased by SCDNR, NWTF and the Conservation Fund in order to preserve the land and provide public hunting access. A fundraising banquet on March 9 in Columbia helped raise funds for SCDNR to continue with Phase II of the purchase of Belfast WMA. Monetary donations can be made to the NWTF’s More Places to Hunt Campaign and contributers must specify that the tax deductible contribution is for Belfast WMA.
The property is located between two units of the Sumter National Forest and will provide a corridor of connectivity to both the Enoree and Long Cane Ranger Districts. Belfast WMA also provides protection for several miles of Little River and Mudlick Creek which flow into the Saluda River.
The Belfast WMA acquisition provides SCDNR another Foothills property to offer increased public recreation, and public hunting opportunities like the spring turkey draw hunts. An old plantation house built in the early 1800’s serves as a reminder of the past, but now welcomes public hunting to what may be considered the golden age of big game hunting.
PhotosByJeffDennis: The oil painting of the Belfast Plantation house was just one of the special items on the auction to raise funds at the Belfast WMA benefit; NWTF CFO James Sparks and wife Sandy stand with Governor Mark Sanford to work towards conservation in S.C.; Brian Dowler (NWTF) and Jason Johnson (Conservation Fund) work behind the scenes for the Belfast WMA; 2009 DNR Officer of the Year Wesley Potter stands with Brian Corbett (future candidate for Officer of the Year) and Ken Cope - the 2008 DNR Officer of the Year
Please visit www.Lowcountryoutdoors.com for more photos from the event.