Connecting Good Stewards with Great Land

a Conservation-minded real estate company?

Connecting Good Stewards
with Great Land™

Your slogan sounds good, but what does it mean? How do your agents actually find good stewards for the land you list?

Actually, at Holcombe, Fair & Lane, think of this process differently. Let’s back up a few steps and look at the listing interview…

1. We pick our clients and projects

Before we commit ourselves to representing rural property, we ask ourselves if it would be attractive to good land stewards. We evaluate the property’s characteristics and location and determine its best and highest use. We do not promote development scenarios for properties that would have a negative impact on the overall quality/character of the immediate and surrounding area.

2. our clients pick us

Our forthright branding messaging speaks of value for preserving the rural character of land that lies outside of urban growth boundaries. Our long history of involvement in conservation -minded organizations and personal practice of good land stewardship attracts the like-minded.

We don’t shun development. We know there is appropriate timing, location, and methods for building structure for a growing metro. We even have a successful commercial sales, leasing and management division within our firm!
But in our alignment with conservation-minded individuals in South Carolina, we also know there are targeted locations where ecosystems must remain unspoiled in order to preserve the limited and nonrenewable resources in our state.

Click here to view our recently sold properties.

interested in conservation-minded representation?

We have been so privileged to represent owners of rural land since our establishment in 1927. We look forward to a hopeful future of connecting good stewards with great land in South Carolina. If you’re interested in conservation-minded representation for a South Carolina property, please complete the form below and one of our land agents will reach out to you.

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Coy Johnston

coy johnston holcombe fair and lane charleston

Coy Johnston

Coy Johnston has had a long and successful career in real estate. He began selling plantations in the late 1970s after spending several years as the Customer Relations Manger for Westvaco, where he supervised management and recreation at Bonneau Ferry Plantation, a 12,000-acre property. Coy’s sales activity in the late 1980s to early 1990s encompassed over 30,000 acres worth $35 million dollars. Coy was the Wetlands America Trust Lowcountry Initiative Manager for several years and has a wealth of experience consulting on multiple use concepts for plantation management. As a quote from the South Carolina Statehouse: “Coy is directly responsible for permanently protecting nearly 50,000 acres of wildlife habitat and has helped put almost one million acres of marshland, old rice fields and other lands under conservation easement.” Armed with a degree in forestry from the University of Georgia, Coy has lent his extensive expertise in developing plantation management plans.

In Celebration of the ACE Basin

ACE Basin in South Carolina Waterfront Edisto Island Salt Point

The ACE Basin in South Carolina

The “ACE” Basin is an acronym for the confluence of the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Rivers along the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. It is a rich ecosystem that has been globally recognized for its environmental significance. The area has caught the eye of conservationists and outdoors enthusiasts — identifying it as key wetland habitat for wintering waterfowl and neotropical birds. In addition to its natural value, there are unique cultural and archaeological characteristics of properties in the ACE Basin area that narrate a complex history. 

american white ibis ace basin
American White Ibis in the ACE Basin

Protecting the ACE Basin

Spearheading the effort to protect this area is the ACE Basin Task Force. Chaired by private landowners since its inception in 1989, the Task Force is comprised of various entities who operate under a strict volunteer-based memorandum of understanding. The Task Force has identified a “focus area” of approximately one million acres that significantly impact the estuary.

A Crucial Collaboration

In August of 1989, John Frampton, Coy Johnston, and Mike Prevost assembled over 100 landowners and challenged them to protect the wonderful ecosystem of the ACE River Basin in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Matt Connolly, the Executive Director of Ducks Unlimited at the time, challenged them to do this not for themselves but for their children. Many of those original attendees have since passed — giants like Gaylord, Dorothy and Strachan Donnelley, Diane Terni, Gene Dupont, Dr. Jim Timmerman, Holly Richardson, Fritz Hollings and others. Yes, Matt Connolly was correct: they did it for us.

The Goal of the ACE Basin Task Force

ace basin map land protection
ACE Basin Map, March 2022 | Click to view full size

The original goal of this “ACE Basin Task Force” was to protect 90,000 acres. As of its 30th anniversary celebration in 2019, the ACE Basin passed the 300,000-acre mark. 83% of that protected land represented private initiatives – primarily via conservation easements. Since 1989, over 275 individual easements have been signed and recorded in the ACE Basin. This is a remarkable achievement. Without the efforts of the State and Federal government to promote public land, the ACE Basin would never have achieved the community support it now has.

Success Beyond Land Protection

While protected acres are good measure, the ACE Basin has seen so much more accomplished throughout the years:

  • Senator Chip Campsen authored the Conservation Bank legislation.
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers approved a general permit for the repair and maintenance of rice fields
  • The Residents of Edisto Island established a federally-designated scenic highway across the Island.
  • Highway 17 has been designed in such a way as to preserve its scenic qualities, reduce its ecological impact and provide safe travel.
  • Old Sheldon Church ruins have been documented and are being preserved.
  • Folk Land Management, Nemours WF and Clemson University teamed together for the mapping of our historic rice fields. Interestingly, this team is also researching the amount of material moved by hand by enslaved africans in order to create the rice fields. They estimate it to be 23 times the amount of material moved by hand to build the pyramids in Egypt. View July 2022 Press Release
  • The preservation of the archaeological ruins of Jehossee island, a historical time capsule.
Prince William's Parish Church "The Old Sheldon Church Ruins" Circa 1751-57, Beaufort County.
jehossee farms sc edisto island ace basin
Jehossee Farms (Jehossee Island) on Edisto Island, Permanently Protected Land in the ACE Basin

Property in the ACE Basin

There may be opportunities for you to invest in future generations through personal property ownership in the ACE Basin. Please complete the form below and one of our land agents will reach out to you with more information on current offerings.

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