The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Land Adjustment Act was made law as a part of the 2018 Farm Bill. The new law authorizes the sale or exchange of 30 tracts of National Forest land totaling 3,841 acres. The goal of the law is to consolidate the National Forest and thus the new law requires the Forest Service to retain the proceeds from each sale to fund the acquisition of more strategically valuable conservation, timber, and recreational lands in Georgia. The targeted acreage was intended to be small-isolated blocks of land with restricted public access.
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers joins many partners in support of the new law including the Conservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, The Trust for Public Land, and the Georgia Wildlife Federation. However, one targeted tract stands out for failing to meet the criteria set forth by the law. The tract identified as CCRD07/09, commonly known as Boggs Mountain, is 1) Large in overall size (818-acres), 2) Contiguous with large portions of the National Forest including the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor, 3) Accessible to the public from multiple locations, 4) is the backbone of connectivity between the east and west sides of the Chattooga District, and 5) Ecologically important to the overall watershed and as a migration corridor for wildlife. Simply put, Boggs Mountain is not small, isolated, or disconnected and is ineligible for sale based on the criteria of the law.
The county is the most likely buyer for this tract and has already expressed interest in purchasing this property and given the proximity to the current landfill would likely convert this valuable piece of public land to expand that infrastructure.
Take a stand for your public lands and join BHA in the fight to prevent the sale of National Forest land by signing this petition to have the Forest Service remove the Boggs Mountain properties from the list of potential tracts for sale!