The Chattahoochee fall line and how it's protected
Tue, Jul 13 2010 at 12:35 PM
By The Nature Conservancy
Where the Chattahoochee River crosses the Fall Line, The Nature Conservancy is working to protect the natural heritage of a rapidly changing region.
Flowing from the Piedmont, the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries cross the rocky shoals and sand hills of the Fall Line and flow through forests of fire dependent longleaf pine and rich floodplain hardwoods. A diverse ecology, with an abundance of wildlife and fish, once graced these lands and waters known as the Chattahoochee Fall Line.
Today, many natural systems of the region are drastically altered or endangered. Water has been impounded and diverted, forests have been altered and fragmented, soil has been moved and paved over, and wildlife has diminished.
Burgeoning populations and increasing development are threatening an array of species and natural communities. Over a quarter of a million people and a variety of interests – from industrial to military to tourism – have a stake in conserving the natural resources and the rural character of the Chattahoochee Fall Line.
The Nature Conservancy works with private landowners, business interests and the Department of Defense to protect the ecological diversity and natural heritage of the Chattahoochee Fall Line while meeting the needs of this growing community.
Guided by a regional conservation plan, The Nature Conservancy places special emphasis on restoring or expanding large-scale ecosystems, such as the pine forests, hardwood bottoms, and fall line streams that occur on and around Fort Benning.
In years past, the Conservancy worked with partners to protect 140 miles of Chattahoochee River shoreline north of Columbus, including 1,500 acres along Standing Boy Creek.
Other ways The Nature Conservancy is working in the Chattahoochee Fall Line includes:
Conservancy staff has worked side-by-side with Army land managers since the early 1990s, learning together how to manage and monitor Fort Benning’s pine forests and fire-adapted habitats for both conservation and military training.
The Nature Conservancy’s work with nearby landowners and other conservation partners have provided opportunities to extend habitat protection, research, and monitoring beyond Fort Benning, to improve conservation management region-wide. Learn more about our work on Fort Benning.
MeadWestvaco has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to inventory rare species and natural communities across approximately 300,000 acres of its forest land, much of it in the Chattahoochee Fall Line region.
The Nature Conservancy is working with local communities in the Chattahoochee Fall Line to conserve and showcase their natural heritage, such as restoring the Chattahoochee River’s Fall Line shoals for recreation, scenic beauty and ecological enhancement.
Learn more about the work of the Conservancy and its partners in the Chattahoochee Fall Line (PDF)
MNN is working with The Nature Conservancy to bring you state-by-state environmental information.