NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Land clearing begins Monday of the Ingram Dunes in North Myrtle Beach. The property owners approved crews to start cutting down trees, but community members aren’t ready to give up on protecting the land.

“Cutting 51 trees here will devastate the place,” says Jane Vernon, with Preserve Ingram Dunes. “There’s no way cutting that many trees without damaging the dunes themselves.”

Vernon is part of a group that has been fighting for nearly two years to preserve the Ingram Dunes and prevent the development of 31 homes on the land. After a long fight, Vernon says the group is now at a loss.

The South Carolina Conservation Bank is set to make a decision about funding to help the city buy the property to preserve the land, but Vernon is afraid removing the trees could threaten that funding.

The group gathered with signs outside the Ingram Dunes area Monday morning to protest as crews carried chainsaws into the woods to begin cutting. 

North Myrtle Beach city officials ask that people do not enter the property while trees are being cut.