84 Acres in Chatooga Watershed Protected (SC)

OCONEE COUNTY, S.C., 11/5/2004 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL) today announced the protection of an 84-acre site on Long Creek in Oconee County. Long Creek is a significant tributary in the Chattooga River watershed and the newly protected site will be managed by the U. S. Forest Service as an addition to Sumter National Forest.

Funding for this protection effort was secured by U. S. Senator Ernest Hollings through the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Senator Hollings is a member of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee which oversees funding for the LWCF.

“This is important for future generations. I won’t be around in 50 years, but my grandchildren’s grandchildren will benefit from our actions,” said Sen. Hollings. “We’re doing a good thing.”

Flowing through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, the Chattooga National Wild and Scenic River is one of the Southeast’s most popular recreation destinations. The Chattooga and its tributaries offer excellent trout fishing, challenging whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking, and spectacular scenery for hikers and campers.

To preserve the integrity of this pristine river corridor and to maintain the exceptional water quality of one of the few free-flowing streams in the Southeast, the U. S. Forest Service initiated a Chattooga River Watershed Protection program over 15 years ago. Since that time, many critical tracts have been protected including over 2,400 acres which were protected with the assistance of The Trust for Public Land.

“The Chattooga National Wild and Scenic River is a tremendous asset to all of us,” said Chrisanne Mitchell, Senior Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land (TPL). “That is why TPL along with the U. S. Forest Service launched its Chattooga River protection efforts nearly 15 years ago. Thanks to the dedicated support of Senator Fritz Hollings and the U.S. Forest Service, a great deal of the watershed lands including Long Creek are now protected for future generations to enjoy.”

In addition to its work in the Chattooga River watershed, the Trust has also helped to protect more than 4,200 acres in the Congaree National Park, 56 acres on the Nation Ford Greenway in York County, 7,661 acres in Winyah Bay and another 125 acres in the Lowcountry.