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Much of what you see was once clear cut to meet America's unquenchable appetite for lumber. North Georgia landowners, often struggling to make ends meet, willingly leased timber rights to out-of-State timber companies and then watched their green hills consumed to fill the Nation's need for timber. Watersheds and wildlife suffered.
In this area of 15 miles west of Clayton in Northeast Georgia, lumbering began in the 1880 and continued into the 1920s. Then Congress acted in 1911, enacting the Weeks Act which authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to "examine, locate and recommend for purchase ... such lands within the watersheds of navigable streams as . . . may be necessary to the regulation of flow of navigable streams." In plain English, this enabled the federal government to acquire and preserve land to protect rivers and watershed headlands in the Eastern United States.
The area you see above from Popcorn Overlook on Georgia Highway 76 was one of the first areas to benefit from the new law. By the 1930s tens of thousands of acres had been purchased and the slow process of reforestation began. What you see today when you stop by this viewpoint, is a thriving mature forest with a healthy watershed.
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The venture moola blog comes to you from Atlanta, Georgia. Find it at readjanus.com. Copyright Clinton Richardson.
Travel, business and history with original photos.
Clinton Richardson - author, photographer, business advisor and traveler.
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