In his quest to inspire the restoration of forests, environmental understanding and economic growth, Clemson University Professor Rob Baldwin is working toward turning a piece of property in Kershaw County into a centerpiece for discussion and collaboration.
“Our focus is to increase an understanding of how to conserve our natural landscape while growing the economy,” Baldwin said. “We want to show how conservation of biodiversity can help improve the economy. Biodiversity has intrinsic value, but we are losing it so fast that we need to look at more practical means.”
The 853-acre piece of land along the Wateree River near Camden was donated to Clemson as part of a SmartState endowed chair worth approximately $4.1 million by Margaret H. Lloyd.
“We need to look at ways landowners can be compensated for conserving land,” Baldwin said. “With rapid urban expansion, landowners can make more money by selling their land so that it can be used for developments. We will look at ways we can work with private landowners to conserve their lands. South Carolina is a state with a lot of biodiversity. We need to protect this biodiversity because this is what keeps people coming to South Carolina.”