Chattahoochee Fall Line Ecosystem Partnership (CFLEP)

Hilliardplantationtract Cflwma Photocredit Public Affairs Office Us Army Fort Benning Image 1

New Acres for Conservation & Recreation on the Chattahoochee Fall Line

By LuAnn Craighton, The Nature Conservancy

New acres are now available to outdoor enthusiasts in west Georgia thanks to the partnership efforts of multiple agencies.  With the addition of the Hilliard Plantation Tract (8,092 acres), the Chattahoochee Fall Line Wildlife Management Area (WMA) now provides nearly 22,000 acres of land for conservation and recreation.  Land stewardship activities on the WMA focus on the restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem which provides important habitat for a diversity of wildlife including the red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise.  The area also provides more public recreation lands for hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, and bird-watching.

The Chattahoochee Fall Line WMA was created through a unique partnership between the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Army at Fort Benning.  Through the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program, ecologically significant land near the military Installation’s border is protected from development that is incompatible with the Installation’s national security mission.

A portion of the purchase of the Hilliard Plantation Tract was made possible by state bond dollars, the Knobloch Family Foundation, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant, and a grant from the U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy program through the Georgia Forestry Commission.  The remaining cost for the tract was secured with an award from the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Challenge Grant through The Nature Conservancy’s work with Fort Benning’s ACUB Program and a private grant from Capital One via World Wildlife Foundation. 

For more information on Fort Benning’s ACUB program, contact Brant Slay, Conservation Manager, bslay@tnc.org. 

IMAGE:

In May, partners gathered to celebrate the addition of over 8,000 acres to the Chattahoochee Fall Line Wildlife Management Area near Columbus, GA.  Photo by Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Fort Benning.

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