Crystal Cockman

Three Rivers Land Trust
Director of Conservation

Biography

Crystal Cockman is director of conservation for Three Rivers Land Trust, formerly The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, which focuses focus primarily on land protection and stewardship in the Uwharrie Region. In her free time she enjoys backpacking, hiking, reading, flyfishing, and pretty much anything outdoors.

Education

Bachelor of science and master of environmental management graduate of Duke University.

Expertise

Environment, land protection, Uwharries.

Articles

  • ui.uncc.edu
    May 05, 2020
    On one recent hike, I saw a fantastic bird up close that I’d not seen in person before – the red-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). These birds typically prefer to stay near the tops of trees, so spotting them is not easy. I was fortunate that these birds were using my friend’s bird feeder, dining on birdseed and sunflower seeds. I was able to get some good photographs of them with my camera with the 40x optical zoom. I tried with my phone but was not able to get anywhere near them, as they are pretty skittish.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Apr 07, 2020
    It’s a great time to be in the woods and spot our region’s many wildflowers (socially distant and with plenty of room between you and anyone else on the trail, of course). Although many state parks are closed due to COVID-19 situation, the trails in the Uwharrie National Forest are still open, and exercise is a permitted activity within the state’s stay at home order. For those of you who live on your own land with a creek or stream, you may even be able to spot these commonly seen wildflowers in your own backyard. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Feb 18, 2020
    North Carolina is truly blessed with a fantastic and diverse system of state parks and nature preserves, stretching from the mountains to the coast.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Jan 24, 2020
    Cold and wintry weather have (finally) settled in, but spring will be upon us before you know it. In honor of the soon-to-be warmer weather, here are some of my favorite hikes for springtime. There are lots of great places in the Uwharries to hike any time of year, but these five trails are particularly nice from March to June, because of the flora and fauna that show up when winter gives way to springtime.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Dec 13, 2019
    Most people who hike trails don’t take time to think about who makes and maintains paths through the woods.  In the Uwharries, as in most recreational areas, most trail-building is done by dedicated volunteers.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Oct 29, 2019
    In the far southeastern tip of Montgomery County, where Moore, Richmond and Montgomery counties all converge, a stream with an evocative name flows: Drowning Creek.  Drowning Creek is a high quality stream, which means it has little pollution and good aquatic diversity. The creek flows southward into the Lumber River, which was originally called Drowning Creek. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Oct 02, 2019
    The National Land Trust Rally put on annually by the Land Trust Alliance, the umbrella organization for land trusts, is in Raleigh this year. The Land Trust Alliance also administers the national accreditation program and serves as a clearinghouse and learning center for land trust staff across the U.S. The rally includes optional field trips on Wednesday and Thursday of the conference week hosted by local land trusts, giving us an opportunity to show off the Piedmont region.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Sep 03, 2019
    Think of an important waterway: You’re probably picturing a rushing river, a huge lake or a roaring waterfall. But what about the humble creek running through the woods near your house? That’s where most of our waterways start, and if those creeks aren’t healthy, larger waterways won’t be healthy either. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Aug 20, 2019
    How do you protect a plant that grows only on rocky outcrops at high elevations in the Amphibolite Mountains of northwestern North Carolina? It takes a team. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Jul 24, 2019
    Hellbenders - a species of large salamander with an evocative name - can tell us something about the health of a river. Macroinvertebrates are good indicators of water health across the state. Insects, crustaceans, molluscs, and arachnids can all tolerate water quality in different degrees. Mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies, hellgrammites are all highly sensitive to pollution. Their presence anywhere indicates good water quality. Dragonflies, damselflies, crayfish and clams are somewhat tolerant of pollution. Black fly larvae, lunged snails, and leeches are all pollution-tolerant.