Lynches Scenic River

Project Overview

Lynches River

Along its winding course, the Lynches River passes through a varied landscape of pine uplands, farms, rural crossroads, and deep swamp forest. Special features include numerous small islands and sloughs, intermittent bluffs, bottomland hardwood wetlands, and artesian wells. Along the 7.5 miles of riverfront protected as part of Lee State Natural Area and Lynches River County Park, trees soar to impressive heights untouched by the woodsman's axe. The river corridor provides excellent habitat for fish such as redbreast and wildlife including river otters, white-tailed deer, and wood ducks. Recreation opportunities abound. The river also holds historic significance as a hideout for slaves during the Civil War and as the site of the state's last duel. Fortunately, the landowners and communities along the Lynches have long recognized the value of the river's natural, scenic, and historic attributes.

In 1994, Governor Carroll Campbell signed the Lynches River Scenic River bill officially designating the stretch between US 15 in Lee County and the eastern boundary of Lynches River County Park in Florence County as a State Scenic River and in 2008, Governor Mark Sanford signed a bill extending the designated scenic stretch from the Florence County Park to the confluence with the Great Pee Dee River for a total of 111 miles through four counties (Darlington, Florence, Lee and Sumter).

In October 1994, the Lynches River Advisory Council was formed to guide development and implementation of a long-term management plan for the river. Completed in August 1997, and revised in 2003, the Lynches Scenic River Management Plan presents the results of an ongoing study of the river. Through study, the advisory council has identified several issues that will affect the future management of the river and proposed responsive, workable means to deal with those issues. At the same time, the advisory council looks for opportunities to protect the river and its resources through advocacy, cooperative efforts, education, research, and/or implementation of sound management practices.

The advisory council faced this challenging task to develop a plan that acknowledges and protects the unique and outstanding resources of the river while safeguarding the rights of private property owners. All of the plan's recommendations are guidelines or suggestions. They do not create any new regulations. Instead, the plan urges the river community to work together in a voluntary framework to protect the river. Participation in the plan's implementation is at the discretion of each individual, group, or governmental entity.

As Lynches River community members, the advisory council also acts as a steward and advocate of the river and spreads the word about the importance of this spectacular natural resource and its importance in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina.

Advisory Council

Soon after the Lynches was designated as a State Scenic River, the director of the SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) appointed a ten-member advisory council to put together a plan for long-term protection of the river. This council, chaired by DNR staff, is made up of local people who live in the community and know the river. A majority of the council members own property on the Lynches. The council includes business and private landowners, large and small property owners, life-long residents and newcomers to the area. Many of the original council members continue to serve. The current advisory council consists of the following:

Voting Members:

The Lynches River Advisory Council Also includes ex-officio members who serve on the council by virtue of technical expertise or a position held in the river-bordering community:

County First Alternate Members are local landowners/community members who become voting members in the absence of voting member from the same county. They serve on the council in an ex-officio capacity.

Project Activities

Current Lynches River Project Activities:

Ongoing Lynches River Project Activities:

Contacts:

Bill Marshall
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202
Telephone: (803) 734-9096