Protecting Georgia's Public Lands
The Wildlands & Wildlife Committee is at the heart of Sierra Club’s mission to Explore, Enjoy, and Protect. We advocate for responsible management and protection of our public lands and wild forests and work to preserve and expand habitats that protect vulnerable wildlife. Not only does this help mitigate climate change, but it also preserves land that provides access to the wilderness experience. National Forests, Wilderness Areas, National Seashores, and all our other precious public lands provide opportunities for us to escape the everyday routine, bond with family, teach kids about nature, and experience endless adventures. The Wildlands & Wildlife Committee is an open group that enables all community members an opportunity to engage in successful campaigns focused on protecting our forests, wildlife, and public lands. We hope you'll join us!
Protecting Georgia's Wetlands - Okefenokee Swamp
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest intact freshwater ecosystems in the country and is considered an icon of the southeast. The swamp is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, including the gopher tortoise and the gopher frog, two species that are protected by Georgia law.
Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, out of Birmingham, Alabama, has filed for permits to establish a mining operation in wetlands just outside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Twin Pines intends to mine heavy metals such as titanium dioxide, a mineral used to create a white pigment in paper and paint, at the proposed mine.
Even though the mine is outside the borders of the NWR, it could still impact the entire swamp. Dredging under the natural barrier of the swamp could have catastrophic effects that would not be fixable. Help us protect the Okefenokee from this potential ecological disaster!
Protecting Georgia's Coast — Cumberland Island
The Wildlands and Wildlife Committee opposes the efforts of the owners of land located within the boundaries of Cumberland Island National Seashore to build new private residences on the island. This would reverse everything achieved so far to preserve the island for posterity. The Wildlands Committee is urging the Park Service to abide by the enabling legislation which states that “the seashore shall be permanently preserved in its primitive state, and no development of the project or plan for the convenience of visitors shall be undertaken which would be incompatible with the preservation of the unique flora and fauna or the physiographic conditions.” Help us protect Cumberland!
Protecting Georgia's Forests — Cooper Creek
In the spring of 2014, the Blue Ridge Ranger District of the Chattahoochee National Forest released plans for the Cooper Creek Watershed Project — a problematic plan at best. After the Forest Service released a Draft Environmental Analysis (EA) at the end of 2015, the Georgia Chapter delivered thousands of written comments from concerned citizens to the Blue Ridge District. The District has since released a Final EA and Draft Decision Notice on the Cooper Creek Project with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). We do not agree that there are no significant impacts to the environment with the current proposal and submitted an administrative objection with our partners Georgia ForestWatch and SELC.
Protecting Georgia’s Wildlands & Wildlife — Other Issues
The Wildlands & Wildlife Committee submitted comments to the Georgia Department of Transportation in opposition to a proposed highway that would have crossed the Satilla River and destroyed adjacent wetlands just east of Waycross. GDOT later dropped this proposal citing public pressure.
Wildlands & Wildlife Committee members joined a chorus of opposition in 2015 delivering written and oral comments at state hearings urging the DNR not to remove a 750cfs minimum flow requirement on the Chattahoochee River at Peachtree Creek. For more information on this issue, check out the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s website.
The Forest Service, citing public opposition, cut back on logging and dropped a proposed road in the Warwoman watershed after the Sierra Club and other groups sent comments asking for these changes.
The Wildlands & Wildlife Committee helped draft the Sierra Club’s comments on Georgia’s Revised State Wildlife Action Plan 2015 urging greater planning for climate change adaptation, promoting the use of novel strategies to protect water resources, and calling for the expansion and protection of public lands in Georgia.
The Sierra Club seeks to engage a broad spectrum of citizens around the value of protecting wildlife, public lands and special places and block threats to these lands from commercial logging, mining, abusive recreation, and overgrazing. We need your help to fulfill these visions!
- Click here to subscribe to the GA Sierra Club Wildlands mailing list.
- Attend the next Wildlands & Wildlife Committee meeting to learn more about our campaigns and how to get involved. The committee meets monthly, usually on the third Monday of each other month. Please visit our calendar for the next meeting date!
- Sierra Club Conservation Policies
- How the Forest Service NEPA Process Works
- The Land and Water Conservation Fund and Related Economic Benefits in Georgia
- The Role of Forests in Providing Clean Water
- Mountain Treasures
If you have questions or would like to get involved, please contact us at email@example.com or (404) 607-1262 x 221.