In addition to creating a buffer of open space around Fort Stewart, and thereby safeguarding the installation’s training mission, the ACUB program preserves valuable wildlife habitat and sensitive natural, historic and cultural resources.

A Working Forest

To help the Army limit incompatible development in the vicinity of the Fort Stewart and preserve an area of diverse forest habitat, the Fund purchased more than 3,000 acres of mixed pine and hardwood forestland just west of Hinesville. Comprised of four distinct properties, the protected tracts were a conservation priority for the U.S. Army because of their proximity to Fort Stewart, sharing more than 2.5 miles of the Installation’s border.

The pine and bottomland hardwood forests found on the acreage provide ideal habitat favored by a variety of migratory Neotropical birds, songbirds and waterfowl, including orioles, tanagers, brown-headed nuthatch, Bachman’s sparrow, bobwhite quail, mourning dove, barn owl and great horned owls.

The Fund will own and manage the acreage as a working forest, continuing to pay local real property taxes and lease the properties to local hunting clubs. We purchased the properties from Rayonier Timberlands Operating Company at the end of 2011 with support from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.

Conservation Easements

Georgia Land Trust purchased conservation easements on all four of these tracts primarily with funding provided by the Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative and through Ft. Stewart’s Army Compatible Use Buffer program. Georgia Land Trust will hold and monitor the conservation easement.

“This effort is a great example of modern conservation,” said Andrew Schock, Georgia State Director for The Conservation Fund. “The easement protects the forests while the property is sustainably managed for its timber resources and remains on the tax rolls. In the end, we are supporting local jobs, preserving popular hunt club lands and helping to ensure that our country’s military warriors will have a place to train as they prepare to defend our nation and fight for freedom. It’s a relationship where everyone wins — the military, the environment and the community.” 

Sustainable Forestry? How Does It Work?

Protecting and maintaining working forests, and the communities that depend on them, remains one of the Fund's top conservation priorities. Watch the video to learn why.

Why Do Forests Matter?

At The Conservation Fund, we believe that well-managed forests can be both economically viable and ecologically sustainable, but like all other necessary parts of our national infrastructure, they need to be invested in and maintained. That's why, since 1985, we've protected more than a million forest acres across America. Protecting and maintaining working forests, and the communities that depend on them, remains one of our top conservation priorities.

Learn More 

Army Compatible Use Buffer Program