DEM Purchases Important South County Parcel from Girl Scouts of RI
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
“I am pleased that the Department of Environmental Management has been able to partner with The Nature Conservancy and the US Fish & Wildlife Service to protect the valuable natural resources of this property in North Kingstown,” said DEM Director W. Michael Sullivan, PhD. “The addition of the Girl Scout property will contribute to the more than 1,000 acres of protected land along the Pettaquamscutt River in the Narrow River Watershed.”
Important to local ecosystems
The property abuts Carr Pond, on which an extremely productive herring run has been maintained by the DEM since the 1960s and monitored since 1981. A fish ladder at the nearby Gilbert Stuart Birthplace is an Alaska steeppass, which effectively passes fish upstream of the dam so that they can spawn in Carr Pond. An American eel ramp is also located at the outlet to the pond and is one of the sites where DEM conducts eel surveys. The herring run is considered one of the strongest self-sustaining runs in the state, and routinely adult brood stocks are transplanted from the run to other newly restored areas.
“We are thrilled to assist the State of Rhode Island in acquiring this magnificent property for all to enjoy,” said The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island state director, Janet Coit. “This project helps ensure that one of the state’s most productive fish runs remains an important part of our natural heritage.”
Preserving beauty, maintaining heritage
“Our decision to sell Camp Nokewa came with the caveat that it be sold to an organization that would appreciate its environmental significance and preserve its natural beauty for the enjoyment of all Rhode Islanders,” said Janet A. Feyler, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Rhode Island, Inc.
The Girl Scout property is the last remaining large developable parcel on Carr Pond and so its preservation effectively permanently protects the pond habitat from future degradation. Carr Pond is at the uppermost reach of the Pettaquamscutt River. Anadramous fish use the entirety of this river system, from Narragansett Bay up to Carr Pond, to complete its life cycle.
The purchase price for the property was $1,300,000 and was funded with an $800,000 grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Restoration Program and a $500,000 grant from The Nature Conservancy, with assistance by The Champlin Foundations.