The Nature Conservancy in Georgia, United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have worked together to protect a new tract of land on the Altamaha River, contributing to the conservation of at least 15 federal and state-listed endangered, threatened or concern species.
The Walker Lake Fishing Club, 1,080 acres in McIntosh County, by The Nature Conservancy for $2.1 million. The USMC, which owns property in the area, then purchased a restrictive easement on the Walker Lake tract that limits future development to buffer military activity and protect rare species. The land was then sold at a lower price to the Georgia DNR, which plans to integrate the new acres into areas already open to the public for recreation – the Townsend and Altamaha Wildlife Management Areas.
“This land is a critical link along the Altamaha River,” said Shelly Lakly, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Georgia. “It is now possible to walk down 42 river miles, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, on protected land.”
The USMC and US Navy played an important role in this deal by purchasing a restrictive easement on the property. “As landowners in the area, we are pleased to be a part of a transaction that benefits both nature and the community,” said 1st Lt. Sharon Hyland, spokesperson for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. “This partnership with the Georgia residents allows all Georgians to further enjoy this land while affording the Marine Corps the opportunity to continue the training essential to our national security.”
“The Altamaha River is essential to the health and future of Georgia,” said Mark Williams, Commissioner of the Georgia DNR. “This mighty waterway generates tourism dollars for our state, supports our productive and envied coast and all the while, is home to rare and iconic species, from mallard ducks and blue herons to manatees. And now it will be open to all Georgians for recreation.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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