Chattahoochee Trout Hatchery Protected (GA)

FORSYTH COUNTY, GA, 12/23/02: Christmas has come early for the Chattahoochee River as the Trust for Public Land on Dec. 23 conveyed to the National Park Service approximately 19 acres of Forsyth County land near the river – where the protection of a pair of properties will not only bolster an ongoing effort to create a greenway but also safeguard a Georgia Department of Natural Resources fish hatchery. The land is located southeast of the intersection of Trout Place and Pruitt Roads about 1,000 feet west of the Buford State Trout Hatchery, and north of the State Route 20 bridge across the Chattahoochee.

“This is another major step toward providing significant watershed protection along the river, “says Kevin Cheri, superintendent of the Chattachoochee River National Recreation Area. “The acquisition of these properties is also going to provide greater potential public access to the northern end of the park by completing a critical connection to our Bowman Island Unit.”

The conservation of the two tracts is also good news for fish and people throughout the state who like reeling them in. According to the Georgia DNR, the Buford State Trout Hatchery provides about 99 percent of the stock for the Chattahoochee River. The hatchery is also home to a pond where children can use old-fashioned cane poles to catch fish.

“Securing these two sites will provide additional protection for the hatchery,”says Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division Director David Waller. “This hatchery is dependent on cool, clear water from the Chattahoochee to produce more than one-half million trout for Georgia anglers each year. We greatly appreciate the efforts of TPL and the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area unit of the National Park Service to protect our hatchery and secure even more land for public outdoor recreation.”

The transactions are part of a $143 million campaign by a partnership including NPS, DNR, and TPL and a variety of public and private entitities to create a 180-mile greenway from Helen to Columbus. The primary goals of the effort are to protect safe and clean drinking water, provide new places for people to walk, bike, fish near their homes, and protect natural habitat. TPL negotiated for and purchased the Forsyth County tracts from a pair of land owners, and, along with with NPS, assessed the site as future park land.

“The Chattahoochee River Land Protection Campaign continues to be a top priority for the Trust for Public Land,”says TPL-Georgia Director Russ Marane. “Our goal is to protect the 180 miles of shoreline from Helen to Columbus.”

About TPL: Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate — applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. Across the nation, TPL has saved more than 1.4 million acres of land. In Georgia, TPL has helped protect land throughout the state – including nearly 70 miles along the Chattahoochee River. It has also conserved land on Georgia’s coast and rivers, and in urban centers.