Some long term blog readers will remember a post we made a while back about the Old Growth Timber Hike in Cooper Creek Wildlife Management Area, just a stones throw from the shop. It is a beautiful section of land that is being threatened by a proposal looking to cut nearly 3,500 acres of timer in the area. The Cooper Creek Watershed Project was proposed in May of 2014, and aimed to manage the forest through commercial logging in hopes of protecting native plants, rebuilding wildlife habitats and keeping the forest healthy. Unfortunately, the action that would be taken if the proposal were to continue forward would result in the mass deterioration of the lands around Cooper Creek, Coosa Creek and Young Cane Creek. This already healthy forest would end up suffering not only from the mass cutting of tress and possible loss of old growth timber, but new gravel road development and irreversible erosion along the steep creek banks, affecting the streams in the watershed areas.
As of right now, the forward movement of the Cooper Creek Watershed Project has been put on hold due to a lawsuit from the Sierra Club and the Georgia Forest Watch against the actions of the Forest Service. Still, these institutions are in need of supporters to carry on with their work of protecting this wonderful swath of land in the Chattahoochee National Forest. One way to support them is to sign this petition. Though the work of the Forest Service is very important in our area, the threat of loosing one of the most special forests in our state is more than we can gamble with.
Below we have highlighted the affects of the proposed plan as outlined by the Sierra Club. The Cooper Creek Watershed Project will:
- cause irreversible damage to the watershed because the project includes cutting on steep slopes
- cause Increased sedimentation from road construction impairing its fish habitat
- disrupt wildlife and threaten human health with the application of dangerous herbicides
Once again, to learn more about the threats against the Cooper Creek Wildlife Management Area, visit the Sierra Club’s page about the proposal. To help stop the removal of trees in the area, visit their petition site.