Walker County, GA — June 1, 2009 — With a grant from its Northwest Georgia Land Protection Fund, the Open Space Institute has assisted in the protection of 572 wooded acres in Walker County, Georgia—where OSI has previously worked with several partners to preserve more than 2,500 acres of endangered wildlife habitat.
OSI’s $430,000 grant to the Georgia chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) enabled TNC to acquire several conservation easements covering 572 acres on Lookout Mountain in Walker County. The now-protected property is largely wooded, includes the headwaters of the Little River and is within one of the five high-priority areas for conservation under the Georgia State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP).
Last fall, OSI worked with several other groups to preserve the 1,839-acre McLemore Cove property and the 740-acre Camp Adahi parcel, both in Walker County.
The just-protected Little River tract directly abuts the 1,400-acre Zahnd State Natural Area and Camp Adahi, adding to the approximately 20,000 acres of contiguously protected prime wildlife habitat.
This type of connectivity is especially important because of the habitat-related goals of the Northwest Georgia Land Protection Fund and the Georgia SWAP. The Lookout and Pigeon Mountain region is rich in biological diversity and contains many rare animals, plant, and habitats.
Zahnd State Natural Area, Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area and McLemore Cove also constitute over 19,000 acres of publicly accessible recreation areas for hunting, fishing, hiking, and bicycling.
Through its Northwest Georgia program, OSI is continuing to look for additional ways to support connectivity and the advancement of the Georgia SWAP.