Timber companies are increasingly selling off their lands that for decades formed the basis of local economies and provided wildlife habitat, making these areas vulnerable to fragmentation and possible development.

What can be done? At the Fund, we’re saving working forests so they can continue to support the economy and wildlife that rely upon them. Support from the Centex Land Legacy Fund enabled the Fund to craft a unique transaction with the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Forest Service and private landowners that combined mitigation and restoration to conserve more than 1,600 acres of working forests that are now part of Oconee National Forest.

Crisscrossed by rivers and creeks and thick with trees, Oconee National Forest embraces more than 115,000 acres of the rolling Georgia Piedmont.  This land supports wildlife like the bald eagle, turkey, white-tailed deer and bobcat. Expansion of Oconee means that hikers and campers can continue to seek out the forest’s many trails and backcountry sites, while anglers and paddlers ply the extensive waterways.

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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.

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