One of the best ways Ms. Lloyd could realize her epiphany and implement the philosophy she had been creating was with a piece of land that was very special to her. Her husband had been an innovative and forward-thinking forester. Dick Lloyd had owned and managed many parcels of timber land, big and small. However, when Ms. Lloyd saw the harvesting of trees on one of their properties she promised herself that she would not have that on her land. So, she purchased land, named it Hardscramble, and kept her promise. For over 60 years, Margaret Lloyd owned and managed Hardscramble, refusing to allow large-scale harvesting or any other exploitative practices. Working with land managers, naturalists, ecologists, and a team of other professionals, Ms. Lloyd had management plans developed and maps made, and worked to co-create the land ethic that would guide activities on Hardscramble. This was how Hardscramble was managed until 2007, when she donated it to Clemson University. Recognizing Ms. Lloyd’s life of contributing to civic, artistic, and environmental projects, Clemson University honored her with a Doctorate of Humanities. Part of this legacy of philanthropy includes the gift of Hardscramble to Clemson as well as a $2 million endowment to further scientific discoveries and encourage groundbreaking scholarship of the natural world.
Immediately upon acceptance of Margaret Lloyd’s gift, 753 acres of Hardscramble were put in a conservation easement. A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Congaree Land Trust is the organization that holds the Hardscramble conservation easement. The purposes of the Hardscramble conservation easement are to ensure that the land will be retained forever in its natural, restored, or enhanced condition; to ensure that Hardscramble will be open and available for educational, environmental, and scientific purposes; to ensure the preservation and restoration of native species and their habitats; and to prevent any use that would interfere with the conservation values of the conservation property. Because of these reasons, there is no unsupervised right of access to the general public.
Hardscramble contains several sensitive habitats, numerous wildlife species, a variety of soil types, and habitat for special status species. Locally and regionally important, Hardscramble contains habitat and species that are being pressured from development elsewhere. As a refuge for Longleaf pine, Bald Eagles, and ecosystem services for the COWASSEE Basin, Hardscramble is home to ecological uniqueness worth sharing and deserving of restoration and scientific research. There are seven sensitive habitats on Hardscramble and they include: the “floodplain forest” bordering the Wateree River; Camp Creek; five headwater streams; the Pocosin Forests dominated by evergreen shrubs such as red bay, fetterbush, gallberry and others, having a canopy of sweetgum, swamp tupelo, yellow poplar, and red maple; a manmade pond that was created by a dam on Camp Creek; the River Bluff; and the Longleaf Pine-Scrub Oak Forest that contains a mature longleaf forest approximately 150 years old.
Of the seven sensitive habitats, Longleaf Pine is regionally and globally significant and attractive to foresters and ecologists alike. The Longleaf Pine ecosystem is unique because it is not really a forest but rather a grassland with standing mature Longleaf Pine trees. It requires an active fire schedule to remain healthy and is one of the most diverse ecosystems partially because of this dramatic impact. The historicr ange of Longleaf spread from Virginia to Texas but has been reduced from 93 million acres to less than 2% of its historic range. On Hardscramble, the Longleaf Pine stand is vastly different from the rest of the property. Without the thick understory of the rest of the Loblolly and White Oak dominated areas, the Longleaf stand is open to the sky, breezy, and sits tall atop a thick layer of pine needles. Below, you will find more information on these habitats, as well as the flora and fauna that make them up, including how they play a part in the embodiment of Hardscramble.
Range: throughout North American continent
Characteristics: The Bald Eagle is a large bird of prey found near large bodies of water. An opportunistic feeder subsisting on fish, the Bald Eagle build its large nests in large, dead, old-growth tree tops. With a wingspan of 7.5 feet and weighing almost 14 pounds, Bald Eagles are sexually dimorphic with females 25% larger than the males.
Status: IUCN Least Concern; ESA delisted due to recovery
Eastern Box Turtle
Terrapene carolina carolina
Range: native to eastern United States
Characteristics: While most species in the pond turtle family are aquatic, the eastern box turtle is largely terrestrial. They have a dome-like, multi-colored carapace with a hinged plastron that allows total shell closure. Eastern box turtles can live up to 100 years and can be over seven inches long.
Status: IUCN Vulnerable
Southern Black Racer
Coluber constrictor Priapus
Range: Southeastern United States
Characteristics: Approximately 56 inches in length and completely dark except for a white chin, southern black racers are non-venomous. Quick moving, the southern black racer is active during the day and will eat anything most anything they can catch and overpower.
Range: Southeastern United States
Characteristics: The Red-Cockaded Woodpecker is a small black-and-white woodpecker with a black crown and longish bill. The male has a small red mark on the side of the nape. They feed on ants, beetles, wood-boring insects, and occasionally fruit and berries.
Status: US ESA Endangered wherever found
Range: throughout North American continent (expect west of the Rocky Mountains) and into northern South America
Characteristics: With a reddish-brown coat, the White-Tailed deer is identified by the white underside of its tail which it raises in alarm. The white-tailed deer is variable in size but usually weighs 100 pounds.
Range: Southeastern United States
Characteristics: The Cottonmouth is a venomous species of pit viper that is also called a water moccasin. A strong swimmer, it is the world’s only semiaquatic viper species. They commonly exceed 31 inches with variable coloring ranging from all black to brown, grey, tan and yellowish.
Range: Historically – 93 million acres of Southeastern United States from Virginia to Texas. Currently – 3.5 million acres.
Characteristics: Longleaf Pine can reach a height of 115 feet with a diameter of 47 inches. It has thick, reddish-brown, scaly bark. Eponymously named for the 17.5 inch long pine needles, Longleaf Pine needles occur in bundles of three
Status: IUCN Endangered, not listed under US ESA
Range: Southeastern United States from New Jersey to Texas
Characteristics: Reaching a height of 115 feet with a diameter of 4.9 feet, Loblolly Pine needs are in bundles of three measuring 8.7 inches.
Status: IUCN Least Concern
Range: a long-lived oak native to eastern and central North America
Characteristics: A tree with light grey bark and large canopy 100 feet from the ground. Producing large quantities of acorns after 50 years maturity, White Oak drops its large lobed leaves in spring and re-growing pale green leaves in early spring.
Status: NatureServe G5 Secure
Range: Native to China, Taiwan, and Vietnam; non-native, invasive species in the United States
Characteristics: Fast growing invasive tree growing to 20 feet tall
Status: Non-native, invasive tree in the United States
Longleaf Pine Stand
Longleaf Pine habitat is unique because it is not really a forest but rather a grassland with standing mature Longleaf Pine trees. Found in sandy soils, it requires an active fire schedule to remain healthy and is one of the most diverse ecosystems partially because of this dramatic impact. On Hardscramble, approximately 15% of the property is Longleaf stand.
Floodplain forest is a bottomland, deciduous or deciduous-conifer forest community near streams and rivers or areas generally effected by flooding. The heavily forested area adjacent to the Wateree River on Hardscramble is a floodplain forest. Only found in the Piedmont region of the eastern United States from New Jersey to Mississippi, Southeastern Mixed Forests are identified by their unique mix of hickory, oak, and chestnut mix. On Hardscramble, a large portion of the property is mixed forest.
Unique to the Southeastern United States, Pocosins are a type of inland wetland lacking regular flowing water with deep acidic, sandy, peat soils. The soils of a pocosin are nutrient-deficient allowing for unique plant species and anomalous growth of otherwise normal plant species. There are 16 distinct pocosin habitats on Hardscramble of varying sizes.
A riparian habitat is the habitat near a river or stream. Characterized by water loving plants, riparian habitats are highly biodiverse in both flora and fauna. Hardscramble is bordered by the Wateree River and the land adjacent to the river is considered riparian habitat. Throughout the property there are 6 streams including Camp Creek and all of these are considered riparian habitat as well.