Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023–10:03 a.m.
-David Crowder, WRGA News-
Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working with various conservation groups and the State of Georgia to expand the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest to protect forests for conservation, forestry, and recreational use.
The bi-partisan effort would add new land across watersheds that provide drinking water to millions of people and contain endangered species’ habitats, ensuring they are further protected.
“This expansion that I’m pushing for of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, some of which is in the Blue Ridge area, some around Blairsville, and some around Calhoun, will expand opportunities for kids and all Georgians to enjoy the great outdoors,” Ossoff said. “Forestry is a key industry for our state and foresters support efforts to increase the scope of land that can be stewarded and managed in a sustainable and responsible way for jobs and economic development.”
According to Ossoff, expansion is also important to manage wildfire risks in cities and towns.
“Georgia has a beautiful heritage of enjoying the great outdoors, with hunting, fishing, backpacking, and camping,” he said. “I want future generations to be able to enjoy these wild places and protect these habitats from wildfire risks. We don’t want industrial development to encroach on these treasured natural resources. One of the things I think is great about this initiative is that it has broad support. This is not a political issue whatsoever.”
Another project that Ossoff is focused on involves the Dugdown Mountain Corridor and building on a multi-state effort to connect the Paulding/Sheffield Forest areas in Georgia to the Talladega Forest in Alabama.
Ossoff was a guest on Wednesday’s First News with Tony McIntosh.