Ecological ImportanceThe DuPont State Forest is an importance ecological resource for the Blue Ridge region. Located between fast-growing Hendersonville and Brevard, the Forest contains over 10,000 acres of valueable plant and animal habitat - and helps support the survival of large mammal species in the area. The forests along the Little River contain significant plant communites in numerous Southern Appalachian bogs and exposed granite slopes.
Little River Natural AreasThe Little River corridor recently acquired by the State makes up the bulk of the Little River Natural Areas, which are recognized by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program as having tremendous ecological significance. (Both DuPont and Sterling voluntarily committed to protect these areas as long as they owned them.) The rare community types documented by this program on the tract include Swamp Forest-Bog Complex and several Spray Cliff communities. These communities are rated as having "state significance". Immediately adjoining this property are tracts with rare plant and animal communities rated as having federal and global significance. Just as important as individual plant or animal communities is the significance of the larger intact ecosystem, referred to by State biologists as the Buck Forest Macrosite, which increases the viability and significance of all the individual ecological sites in the area. In addition, the DuPont State Forest lies only 1.5 miles from the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area and the terminus of a 90 mile trail system winding through nearly a million acres of contiguous protected forests. The Green River Preserve lies between the southeast corner of the State Forest and Mountain Bridge (at Standingstone Mtn.). The proximity of these protected areas are important both for future recreational potential and for the survival of large mammals.
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