Sustainable planning for Upper Etowah timberland
Topping, Amanda Jeanne
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The Etowah watershed of North Georgia is one of the most biodiverse in the United States and the world. It is also, however, one of the more threatened, as its county population growth rates are among the nation’s highest, and development pressures are quickly increasing. Large landholders are facing not only these pressures, but also economic strain imposed by Georgia’s ad valorem tax structure. As one of these landholders, Temple-Inland, Inc. is planning the sale of its approximately 63,000 acres of timberland in the watershed. This paper identifies a single Temple-Inland property for study and seeks to assemble a plan for its long-term protection and sustainability – economic, ecological, and social. Elements considered include stacking non-timber resource use with continued forestry practices, alternative land uses, introduction of conservation easements, and introduction of an education center to increase community awareness and stakeholder involvement.