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Notes from the Field

by Laura Hall

In March, I met the Savage family who recently purchased 39 acres in Oglethorpe County protected by a conservation easement held by ORLT. They asked me to come out and explain what activities are allowed on the easement. This mesic hardwood forest has streams and large boulders. extensive fern glades cover the slopes above the streams, and some small canebrakes with Arundinaria gigantea grow along the streams.

Jason and Catherine Savage, with Catherine’s dad, Mack Hayes who lives in Oconee County. Photo by Laura Hall

Catherine and Jason, who grew up near here, were eager to show me their plans for restoring the blown-out culvert along the smaller stream, and for replacing the main stream crossing with a bridge. Their solution is a great one, as with the large rain events that are occurring more often, many culverts are not able to withstand these water levels and pressure, and end up downstream. A bridge is best for larger streams, as it will not disrupt the aquatic habitat, nor create erosion with unstable soil. We are happy to have the Savages as new landowners.

Members joined ORLT for a hike on a conservation easement near the Apalachee River on March 15. Photo by Madeline Sparks

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