616 acres added in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains.
It’s still possible (amidst the scurry to take from public lands) to protect our pristine wilderness areas. Through multi-partnerships, cooperation, federal funding, and the private conservation efforts of one family, 616 acres were officially added to the Cherokee National Forest in September 2018.
This particular land near the Tennessee-Georgia border is critical as a protection for Taylor Branch, a tributary of the Conasauga River. As one of our country’s most biodiverse rivers, this entire habitat is considered ‘high priority’ in the Wildlife Action Plan of the state Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. In the area live 15 species from Tennessee’s threatened and endangered list, as well as 11 aquatic species from the federally endangered list.
I can see the western ridges of the southern Cherokee NF from my hometown; and have a long list of local favorite bird species. It’s a good day when the opportunity to see them improves by 616 acres!
Magnolia Warbler. Photo by © Michael Todd
Indigo Bunting. Photo by © Michael Todd
Summer Tanager. Photo by © Michael Todd
Bald Eagle. Photo by © Mike Blevins
Downy Woodpecker. Photo by © Mike Blevins
Pileated Woodpecker. Photo by © Mike Blevins
Red-eyed Vireo. Photo by © Mike Blevins
Red-tailed Hawk. Photo by © Mike Blevins
Conasauga River snorkeling video courtesy of © Georgia Conservancy
Thanks to The Chattanoogan for covering this event.
Read about The Nature Conservancy’s work with private landowners for conservation.
Learn about The Conservation Fund’s protection and acquisition efforts around the country.
(Featured image – Cherokee National Forest, southern section.)