Hello, and welcome to South Carolina Natural Resources, a blog created and maintained by the staff of the S.C. Department of Natural Resource’s Office of Media and Outreach.

Over the coming months, we hope to bring to our readers a lively daily discussion on topics related to natural resources conservation, hunting and fishing, outdoor recreation and tourism, SCDNR projects and initiatives, and other news and information that will be of value to our state’s sporting and conservation communities. It’s just one more way the SCDNR is working to fulfill its mission as the primary steward of and advocate for our state’s amazing natural resources.

Whether you are lucky enough to be a Sandlapper by birth, or are one of the many thousands of folks who have “voted with their feet” to make South Carolina their adopted home, you know without a doubt that this is one special place. With the responsibility for managing more than 1 million acres of wild public lands (and counting), the SCDNR has a huge responsibility to the present and future citizens of this state. And we know that it is the sportsmen and women, the hunters and anglers, and the other individuals who love spending time in the outdoors, who make wildlife and natural resources in this state and in the United States work. Without the funding provided through hunting and fishing licenses and permits and the excise taxes paid on outdoor sporting goods equipment, firearms and ammunition, as well as the working partnerships with landowners and sportsman’s groups, our amazing conservation efforts would be a fraction of what they are today. So for that we say, “thanks,” and please come back and visit often to find out what your state Department of Natural Resources and the larger outdoor community in South Carolina are up to.  We value your input, so if you have ideas for topics you’d like to see covered here, please contact site administrator David Lucas at lucasd@dnr.sc.gov. We look forward to hearing from you.

Base No. 6

Base No. 6

Did you know?  There’s a perfectly straight line on Edisto Island, nearly seven miles long that runs from Edisto Beach State Park to the DNR’s Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve. We know this because two granite obelisks mark the line’s beginning and end points, and the obelisks themselves sit atop massive granite blocks buried 3 feet beneath the ground, with a copper pin embedded in each denoting the precise beginning and end of this meticulously surveyed line.

Why?

All of this may sound terribly mysterious, but lay your notions of ancient civilizations and alien visitors aside.  In fact, the line and the markers are artifacts of the much more recent past, 1849 to be exact.  Though the technology used to create the line was, at the time, at the vanguard of scientific achievement in the field of mapmaking.  Base Number 6 and other similar lines were surveyed along the eastern coast of the then-young United States of America to facilitate the creation of more accurate nautical maps for shipping and commerce.

The “U.S. Coast Survey” project was approved by President Thomas Jefferson and carried out beginning in the early 1800s. Measuring and marking “baselines” of known length allowed mapmakers of the period to create accurate charts through the process of “triangulation.”  The endpoint markers for “Baseline Number 6,” surveyed across Edisto in 1849 under the supervision of Alexander Bache, great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin and the second Superintendent of the Coast Survey (today a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) are now a part of the National Register of Historic places.  Given the technology available to the surveyors and scientists, the laying out of the Edisto baseline and the other baselines that formed the basis for mapping the coast of the U.S. was a remarkable achievement.  The line, which was measured using an enormous pair of metal bars that had to be laid end-to-end over and over again by workers along the route of the survey, was measured using modern GPS technology and found to be accurate to 2.5” inches.  Truly a remarkable achievement.

The survey’s easternmost marker can be seen at the Edisto State Park Education Center, where the DNR Board recently held its monthly meeting. The Western-end marker can be found just about seven miles away as the crow flies (assuming a crow that can fly a REALLY straight line), at the DNR’s Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area, one of many treasures preserved for visitors to that property.

Learn more about Botany Bay

And about Edisto State Park

NOAA’s Historical Maps and Charts Collection

Port Royal Sound Maritime Center Day Campers Get a Taste of the Outdoors

Port Royal Sound Maritime Center Day Campers Get a Taste of the Outdoors

A Walk in the Woods at Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve

A Walk in the Woods at Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve