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Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:48

AT Bald Trail permanently protected

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The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy transferred 35 acres to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service to protect adjacent land along the famous footpath.

Wesser Bald in Macon County was at risk of development when the Southern Appalachian conservancy trust initially purchased it in 2007. The intent was to sell the land to the Forest Service once the Forest Service attained needed funds.

“We are proud to be working with these partners to add an important sight along the AT that’s visible to a lot of people,” said SAHC’s Executive Director Carl Silverstein.

The addition of this tract, along with an adjoining 42 acres on which the land trust holds a conservation easement, closes a wide gap in a swath of contiguous Forest Service lands that were vulnerable.

In addition to providing extraordinary views, this protected land will contribute a multitude of other benefits to the ecosystems of the Little Tennessee River watershed, the Nantahala National Forest, and the Appalachian Trail corridor, group leaders said. The land will serve as a catalyst for the protection of significant watersheds, providing a contiguous wildlife corridor that will provide high quality wildlife habitats and ecosystems for rare plants and will assure that the land will stay pristine for generations to come.

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