Tuesday, March 07, 2006

South Carolina


I think is the most under-appreciated state for Ivorybill possibilities. Only the Congaree gets much attention. In fact the SC coastal plain hosts a vast network of well-interconnected swamps, and I believe it belongs high in the list of states with potential.

From west to east...

1. Savannah River below Beech Island to highway 17. More continuous and more extensive than on the Georgia side.

2. Coosawhatchie river from Hampton county to above I-95. Fairly small and narrow.

3. Salkehatchie river from Barnwell county to highway 17, plus the Little Salkehatchie in Colleton county.

THE "ACE" (Ashley-Cooper-Edisto) BASIN:

4. South Fork Edisto River from Kitching Mill to highay 301. Moderately wide but not well connected.

5. Four Hole Swamp from highway 176 to the Edisto confuence, plus a narrower stretch south to ACE Basin NWR. Four Hole is a beautifulswamp.

6. Cooper river below lake Moultrie to I-526. Short and fairly narrow, includes Cypress Gardens.


7. Francis Marion National Forest, especially the Wambaw and Little Wambaw Swamps and Hellhole Bay. Some of this is designated Wilderness area. The "I'on" [Iron] swamp doesn't look especially Ivorybill-ish.

8. Congaree Swamp and upper Santee River above Lake Marion. Very broad and mature.

9. Wateree River below I-20 to Congaree. Another big fat gorgeous swamp that is continuous with the Congaree.

10. Santee River below lake Marion to highway 17. Very broad especially in the upper portions. At the lower end a complex of arcuate swamps including White Oak Bay provides a corridor between the Santee Delta and Winyah Bay.

11. Large complex of Carolina Bays in the Foreston-Greeleyville area that could provide a corridor connecting the Santee and Black River drainages.

A massive and largely overlooked network of swamps extending into southern North Carolina. Gaps between the major swamps are easily bridged by small forest and swamp corridors and extensive flatwoods in the lower coastal plain and along the Waccamaw neck. For instance, when we lived in Georgetown on the shore of Winyah Bay (in an old residential neighborhood within sight of downtown, the steel mill, and the paper mill), we had a black bear roam through the neighborhood. There have also been "large cat" reports in the area.

12. Pocatiligo river below Sumter to Black river confluence.

13. Black river from headwaters to near Oatland. Quite broad in Clarendon and Williamsburg counties, potentially connected to Santee basin through area #11 above.

14. Little Lynches river below Kershaw to Lynches confluence, continuing down the Lynches to the Pee Dee.

15. Pee Dee river from just above the NC border to Great Pee Dee, continuing downstream to highway 701 where it merged with the Waccamaw swamps. Broad; downright huge from Society Hill to highway 501.

16. Little Pee Dee river from its headwaters region in NC to Great Pee Dee confluence. Also very broad.

17. Waccamaw river from headwater swamps in the Lake Waccamaw region of NC to the Great Pee Dee confluence.


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