SELC Keeps Forest Restoration Legit in Georgia
Thanks to the concerted efforts of SELC and Georgia ForestWatch, the U.S. Forest Service recently agreed not to characterize a logging and burning project on Brawley Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest as “restoration.” This would have set a damaging precedent and would have opened the door to more timber cutting and burning under the guise of reviving natural communities. The agency also agreed to spare an older oak forest and other mature trees on the tract.
But now the Forest Service has turned around and proposed another “restoration” project, which would entail cutting on 500 acres and repeated burning on 1,000 acres in the Watergauge Road area in the Chattooga River watershed. Moreover, the agency is attempting to fast-track the project by avoiding a required environmental analysis. SELC is representing Georgia ForestWatch in an administrative appeal challenging this proposal. Our goal is to keep forest restoration in the Chattahoochee ecologically legitimate and to stave off any future attempts to push through intensive forest management projects without full regard to impacts on all wildlife, rivers and streams, diverse native hardwood forests, and other resources.