Southern Cumberlands Chuck Sutherland Crp

Cumberland Plateau

Image Credit: Chuck Sutherland

The longest hardwood forested plateau in the world, the Cumberland Plateau stretches across four states—Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama—and has endured a long history of aggressive deforestation. 

Though high-quality, climate-resilient habitat still exists atop the Plateau, the razing of invaluable forest habitat—along with the effects of acid mine drainage, development and invasive species—all continue to cause irreversible harm.

Compared with other hotspots of terrestrial biodiversity, the southern Cumberland Plateau is made of relatively few conserved areas. Today, though much of the land remains in large tracts, a great deal of it is owned by absentee private landlords and resource investment groups.

In a region where state and private resources for acquiring and managing new lands are scarce, three of our funds—the Northwest Georgia Land Protection Fund, the Southern Cumberland Land Protection Fund and the Southeast Resilient Landscapes Fund—have helped secure lands that otherwise might have been lost.

Our impact includes:

  • Increasing by almost 10 percent the amount of conserved priority wildlife habitat identified in Georgia’s State Wildlife Action Plan
  • Creating conservation plans with local organizations such as Cumberland Voices

'Saving the Southern Cumberlands' Story Map

View OSI's award-winning 'Saving the Southern Cumberlands' Story Map, selected by global mapping company Esri, the creator of Story Maps, as the Featured Story Map of September 2018.

View the Story Map

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