Support National Forest Management To Benefit Wildlife

GON Staff | October 1, 2022

Hunters have the opportunity to speak out in an effort to improve hunting on portions of the Chattahoochee National Forest and Cohutta WMA.

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) encourages sportsmen to get involved in a U.S. Forest Service planning process that could lead to better forest management to benefit wildlife. Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest will host its first annual stakeholder meeting for Foothills Landscape Project (FLP) implementation on Thursday, Oct. 13 at Cohutta Springs in Crandall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

“The National Deer Association (NDA) serves a role on the Foothills Landscape Project Collaborative Working Group in order to specifically provide our insight of management on the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. The NDA also expressed support for the FLP when it was proposed last summer, and we view it as a critical tool that will assist in some of north Georgia’s deer density issues,” said Torin Miller, NDA Director of Policy.

The Foothills Landscape encompasses 157,625 acres and stretches across the Chattahoochee National Forest. It marks the area where the mountains are visibly reduced to foothills. Shortleaf pine and pitch pine forests are the dominant forest types, with hardwoods accounting for about a quarter of the landscape. It includes a portion of the Cohutta WMA and Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Habersham, Lumpkin, Murray, Rabun and White counties.

“The NDA is dedicated to ensuring the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting. The FLP advances the future of all three by enhancing and providing quality habitat for game and non-game species, reducing wildfire fuel across the landscape and increasing access opportunities to connect all types of people to the land. Through our extensive work on deer and habitat management across North America, we know that the actions proposed by the Forest Service under the FLP will benefit a wide breadth of the region’s fauna, including rare and declining species, as well as desired non-game and game species like wild deer. The region’s white-tailed deer require varying habitat types and structures, and the proposal’s inclusion of vegetation enhancement measures such as encouraging successional diversity, managing non-native species and expanding the ecological role of fire will create these necessary variations. We’re happy to serve a role on the Collaborative Working Group to ensure that active forest management that benefits wildlife continues to be the priority of the FLP.

“If you feel the same, and the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest holds a special place to you, please join us in voicing your views at this stakeholder meeting.”

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If you have specific questions about the Foothills Landscape project, contact team leader Stephanie Israel at [email protected] or (770) 297-3095.

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