One of the largest national forests east of the Mississippi River, the Chattahoochee National Forest spans over 750,000 acres of mountainous forest land in north Georgia and encompasses the headwaters of the Conasauga and Etowah rivers, which are part of The Nature Conservancy’s Coosa Basin project. The Chattahoohee National Forest adjoins the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee, the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina and the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina to create one of the largest expanses of public lands in the eastern United States.
Within the national forest, the more rapidly flowing areas of the Conasauga river host such rare and imperiled fish as the amber darter, blue shiner, frecklebelly madtom, and the Conasauga logperch, which is found only in a 15 mile stretch of the waterway. Holly Creek, the Conasauga’s most biologically rich tributary, begins in the national forest and flows west onto private lands, and provides critical habitat for freshwater mussels, including the healthiest known populations of Alabama and Coosa moccasinshells.
Working with the U.S. Forest Service and private landowners, the Nature Conservancy engaged in numerous restoration activities and facilitated public-private land deals since 1997. In total, The Nature Conservancy has helped to protect more than 1,100 acres Land within the Forest, including establishing the Holly Creek Preserve.
For more information about the Chattahoochee National Forest, visit the U.S. Forest Service at www.fs.fed.us/conf/