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Georgia Wild E-Newsletter

Broad River Area preserves Piedmont heritage

By Jon Ambrose

Broad River Natural Area covers 440 acres along the Broad River in Northeast Georgia's Madison County. This state-owned property was created from two contiguous tracts bought in 1996 and 1998 with funds from RiverCare 2000, a statewide land acquisition program funded by a combination of hunting and fishing license fees, state appropriations, and private donations.

The tracts were featured in a Broad River Heritage Trail proposal developed by members of the Broad River Watershed Association to support protection of significant tracts along the Broad, a free-flowing river that runs from Franklin Springs to the Savannah River and Clarks Hill Lake's upper reaches on the Georgia/South Carolina border. Gov. Zell Miller issued an executive order dedicating the natural area as a Heritage Preserve in 1998.

Broad River Natural Area contains exemplary natural habitats of the Piedmont, populations of rare species such as ground juniper (Juniperus communis var. depressa) and sandbar shiner (Notropis scepticus), and significant cultural features such as an old wooden fish weir, or trap, in the middle of the river. It also includes more than one mile of river frontage and several miles of walking trails.

The primary management objective for this property is the protection of rare species populations and natural communities of plants and animals. Public access is also provided for hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, scientific research and environmental education.

Getting there:
** From Danielsville, go north on U.S. 29 for two miles. Turn right onto Ga. 281 and go four miles. The area is on the right 0.3 miles after crossing the Broad River.
** Area map: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/maps/hunting/region2
** For more: Jon Ambrose, Nongame Conservation Section assistant chief, (770) 761-3035 or jon.ambrose@dnr.ga.gov

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