JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Land Trust of North Alabama is planning another big acquisition of land, this time in Jackson County – a 91-acre space covering a portion of Paint Rock River.

It’s the second aspiring expansion of the conservation group after they successfully purchased a similar size space on Chapman Mountain in May. The Paint Rock River acquisition would have a more ecological impact, according to the development director Hallie Porter.

“The Paint Rock River valley has been identified by a number of agencies as one of the most important areas to conserve in the United States,” she stated.

The river contains at least 50 species of freshwater and plant life labeled ‘at-risk’ by federal and state environmental authorities, making the conditions different from the Chapman Mountain purchase, which seeks to establish recreation space as well.

“Because of the sensitive species that are along there, you’re not going to see much change except that you’ll never see development there and that river will be protected,” Porter added.

The space is located off U.S. Highway 72 between Huntsville and Scottsboro, not far from the Fern Cave Wildlife Refuge, an area of the river Porter said is ideal for investing donor funds. In fact, more than half of the needed $223,000 is already raised as of July 10.

Porter said that’s a testament to the Tennessee Valley’s appreciation for conservation in the face of rapid growth.

“A lot of folks here also realize that the Land Trust is not anti-development, but we want to balance development that comes into the area. And if you have both – conservation and development – you’ve got an extremely strong area for folks to move into.”