Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust honors Umphlett
The Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust honored the late State Rep. David Umphlett with a posthumous presentation of the Order of Lord Berkeley during its annual members’ dinner on Nov. 12 at Old Santee Canal Park.
“David Umphlett was a life-long Berkeley County resident who represented Berkeley County as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives,” said LBCT President John West. “By this award, the Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust aims to recognize individuals who have made important contributions to local and statewide conservation efforts.”
Accepting the award on the late state representative’s behalf were Umphlett’s wife Carolyn and their three children Karen, Will and Janet, and the Umphlett grandchildren.
“During his lifetime, Umphlett was a strong advocate for preserving and protecting the natural, cultural and historical resources in Berkeley County and the state of South Carolina,” West said. “He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and farming, particularly on his beloved Cooper River property, Buck Hall Plantation, which was recently conserved through a conservation easement donated to LBCT.”
Speaking on behalf of the Umphett family, Will Umphlett said, “One of the last things Daddy told me was ‘protect Buck Hall,’ and it gives me great honor to have signed the conservation easement ensuring that his dying wishes were carried out. Thank you all. ”
Umphlett, who represented District 100, passed away on May 29, 2011.
Umphlett was first elected to the Statehouse in 2002 and retired as vice president for government and consumer affairs at Berkeley Electric Co-op two years later.
Umphlett made outdoors issues one of his primary interests in the House. He pushed legislation creating an alligator hunting season in South Carolina and backed a law that banned so-called “river shacks,” floating cabins on the state’s waterways with no toilets.
Umphlett was a Clemson University graduate and served in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1964.
Buck Hall is an 825-acre historic rice plantation located along the West Branch of the Cooper River and is an important property from a natural resources standpoint, according to West, providing habitat for innumerable wildlife species, most notably migrating waterfowl. It provides a critical link between existing private protected properties, including the adjacent Mepkin Abbey, which has been protected by a conservation easement held by Ducks Unlimited.
The Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust is a locally based, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and managing the natural resources and habitat of Berkeley County and other similar areas for future generations to enjoy.
LBCT is directly involved in protecting land in the area for its natural, recreational, scenic, historical or productive value and educating the public to the importance of resource conservation.