Southwest Shore Assessment

“Spreading southwest from the banks of the Haw River and the shore of Jordan Lake lies an undeveloped wilderness of more than 10,000 acres. Just a few roads and scattering of homes break up this forested landscape with the remnants of previous settlement: old family cemeteries, stone walls and homesites. Laying within the Cape Fear River basin and draining into Jordan Lake –the second largest drinking water supply for Triangle area communities — the Southwest Shore Wilderness is one of the largest remaining unfragmented areas in the six-county Triangle region”.

Executive Summary, Southwest Shore Conservation Assessment


The 2008   “Southwest Shore Conservation Assessment” was researched and compiled by the Triangle Land Conservancy and the UNC-CH Center for Sustainable Community Design with contributions from many local scientists and organizations.  This document is the result of an on the ground assessment of the  natural and cultural resources of the area where  land was bought by Preston Development for Chatham Park.  The study includes information about the cultural history, natural heritage, water quality, riparian corridors, wildlife habitat, working lands, recreation and scenic viewsheds.

Because this land is considered to have critical conservation  importance in the Triangle region, the study was conducted and presented to the Town of Pittsboro and the Chatham Park developers in hopes they would use it as a major planning tool. We do not believe they have taken advantage of this tremendous piece of work.

What are the reports main recommendations?

  • Protect the water quality of Jordan Lake
  • Protect the most sensitive natural areas
  • Protect and enhance game and wildlife habitat
  • Utilize prime agricultural soils for market farms and crops
  • Create a system of trails connecting the new community, cultural assets and natural areas
  • Protect scenic views
  • Preserve areas of cultural and historical significance

 Download the full report:  Southwest Shore Conservation Assessment