Protecting Stumphouse Mountain
In 2007, Stumphouse Mountain was the target of a proposed development. The Nature Conservancy was one of many public and private partners who united to find alternatives to the proposed development, attracting hundreds of people to community meetings and collecting approximately 2,000 signatures in a petition drive. Together, the partners raised $4.3 million through 1,100 donations to purchase the property and protect it as a South Carolina Heritage Preserve.
Why You Should Visit
Stumphouse Mountain Heritage Preserve-Wildlife Management Area, located in northern Oconee County, is the site of the lovely Issaqueena Falls which is important to Cherokee history, several historic railroad tunnels, and forests and streams with trails for the public to enjoy. The preserve boasts bird and plant diversity including black-throated green and hooded warblers, red-eyed and blue-headed vireos, and tufted titmice. Neotropical birds use the forest for migration and nesting. Other natural features found on this preserve include an array of wildflowers and six species of bats, among them the rare rafinesque big-eared bat. The bats occupy the abandoned railroad tunnels. Specific plant species include Catesby’s trillium and showy orchis.