Local Forest Service community conversations
When: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 15
Where: North Hall Community Center, 4175 Nopone Road
When: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 13
Where: Lumpkin County Community Center, 365 Riley Road
When: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 29
Where: Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, 2020 Clean Water Drive
Chance to provide input
Give input and see what others have said at www.tinyurl.com/FoothillsLandscapeCollaborate.
The U.S. Forest Service is hosting a series of community conversations, including meetings in Gainesville, Buford and Dahlonega, to address conservation challenges in the Foothills Landscape of the Chattahoochee National Forest.
The 143,419 acres of the Foothills Landscape stretch across the forest and “mark the area where the mountains are visibly reduced to foothills,” according to a news release. The landscape includes parts of Lumpkin, Dawson, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Habersham, Murray and Rabun counties.
The Gainesville meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the North Hall Community Center at 4175 Nopone Road.
The Dahlonega meeting is set for 6-9 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Lumpkin County Community Center at 365 Riley Road, and the Buford meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center at 2020 Clean Water Drive.
Other meetings will be Oct. 18 in Clayton and Nov. 1 in Crandall.
The Forest Service is also seeking input from interested parties at www.tinyurl.com/FoothillsLandscapeCollaborate, where they can share their ideas and see what others have said. This website contains information about the Foothills Landscape such as maps, Google Earth data and descriptions.
“We need your knowledge and insights right from the start in order to plan the right work in the right places for the right reasons,” said forest supervisor Betty Jewett in the press release. “We’re asking our neighbors and visitors to share what you know about the Foothills Landscape with others through this collaboration, and learn from the knowledge of others, too. We look forward to discussing and considering the many diverse perspectives that will be revealed.”
The project hopes “to create, restore and maintain ecosystems that are more resilient to natural disturbances,” according to the release.
“Specifically, the Forest Service is seeking to enhance and provide quality habitat for rare and declining species, as well as desired game and nongame species; to reduce hazardous fuel loading across the landscape; to improve soil and water quality; to provide sustainable recreation and access opportunities; and to awaken and strengthen a connection to these lands for all people,” the Forest Service press release said.