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Proposed Vulcan Quarry Threatens Two ORLT Easements

This land along the North Oconee River is protected by ORLT and located just downstream of the proposed Vulcan Quarry.

Just north of Athens in rural Jackson County, ORLT protects land along the North Oconee River that is beautiful, wild, and diverse in habitat. This land is now threatened by a proposed quarry on 800 acres—land that includes important wetlands and nearly a mile of river frontage. Two conservation easements held by ORLT are adjacent to or very near the proposed quarry site. These easements include high-priority habitats as designated by DNR, including Beaver Ponds, Freshwater Marsh, Bottomland Hardwood, Mesic Hardwood, and Oak-Hickory-Pine Forests. An extensive wetland and heron rockery is located less than 1,000 feet downstream from the proposed quarry site along the river.

ORLT is very concerned that the proposed quarry will negatively impact water quality in the North Oconee River and wetlands downstream from the site by contributing to sediment runoff and erosion, which harm aquatic species by raising the turbidity of the water. Additionally, habitats adjacent to the quarry site will be negatively impacted by fragmenting a wildlife travel corridor along the river and noise from quarry operations have potential to disrupt the heron rookery and other wildlife. Great blue herons need larger, unfragmented habitats in which to nest and are very sensitive to loud noises.

Next month, ORLT will host a hike on one of these protected properties located adjacent to the proposed quarry. We hope you’ll join us on October 19th from 8:00-10:00AM for our Fall Migration Bird Hike. Please register here for the hike. To learn more about the proposed quarry, stay informed, and learn how you can take action, visit Citizens for Sustainable Jackson County and Stop the Quarry.

This protected property offers scenic views and important habitat that are threatened by the proposed quarry.

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