Invasive Species Issue Hikes
Tuesday, Sept. 18 OR Saturday, Sept. 22
Exotic princess tree seedlings tower over native tree seedlings
in the Cohutta wilderness - Photo by Jess Riddle
Leaders: Ruth Stokes, USFS wildlife biologist on Tuesday the 18th, and Jess Riddle, GFW Forest Ecologist on Saturday the 22nd
Hike Location: Cohutta Wilderness, Murray/Fannin Counties
Outing Description: The 2016 Rough Ridge Fire produced ideal conditions for non-native princess trees to swarm into the Cohutta Wilderness. Native to Asia, princess tree's extraordinarily fast growth allows it to out-compete and choke out native species. In hot spots where the fire killed the canopy, six-foot princess tree seedlings tower over two-foot seedlings of native trees.
This trip is about fighting back. We will hike into the wilderness and clear princess tree seedlings by either pulling or cutting them. Along the way, we'll stop to talk about fire ecology, invasive species, and anything else that catches our interest.
Large and remote, the Cohuttas offer the best chance in northern Georgia for natural processes to operate as they did historically. Very few other invasive species are present in the wilderness. This is a place we can make a real difference.
Meeting Time and Place:
Meet at 10:00am at the Chatsworth Food City (502 G I Maddox Pkwy, Chatsworth, GA 30705). The store is at the northern intersection of US76 and US411, behind a row of fast food stores. Click for Google map. We'll carpool to the hike location.
Distance and Difficulty: Strenuous. Five miles or less hiking. This trip will involve moderate hiking followed by pulling and cutting vegetation, so the overall exertion level will be high. Everyone is encouraged, though, to take breaks as needed during the princess tree pulling.
Duration: This is an all-day event, and we are not likely to be back at the vehicles until after 5:00pm.
Participant Limits: maximum of 9 for the Tuesday hike and 11 for the Saturday hike
What to Bring and Wear: Lunch, plenty of water, raingear, sturdy footwear, gloves, and if you have them, hand saws or loppers. If allergic to bees/wasps, remember to bring your meds/epi-pen.
Cancellation/Rain Date: Hikers will be notified if hike is canceled due to forecast of severe weather, etc.
Pet Policy: No pets please
Family Safe Policy: Georgia ForestWatch outings are a smoke, alcohol, and drug-free setting.
Sign up now!
Space is limited
Our outings are free of charge and open to everyone on a first come, first served basis, up to the limit. BUT DON'T FORGET, Georgia ForestWatch members are always given priority on our hikes. To learn how you can become a member, click here.
To Reserve Your Spot
Please register using the links below (for the best chance of securing a spot) or call 706-867- 0051 with the following information.
For the Tuesday, September 18 hike, register here.
- Name of person(s)
- Your email address
- Your phone number (preferably cell if you will be carrying it on the outing day)
For the Saturday, September 22 hike, register here.
For more information on the hike, OR if you need directions on the day of the hike, please contact Jess Riddle by email or call the phone number provided in your confirmation message.
Upcoming Outings & Events - Mark Your Calendars!
Wednesday, September 26th - Bartram Trail, Earl's Ford to Dicks Creek Falls - with Melanie Vickers
Saturday, October 6th - ForestWatch Annual Membership Meeting and Fall Retreat at Vogel State Park
Saturday, October 20th - Rich Slopes Near Monticello (Dog-Friendly Hike) - with Dr. JP Schmidt
Wednesday, November 7th
- Appalachian Trail, Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain - with Melanie Vickers
Saturday, December 1st - Dog-Friendly Hike on the Appalachian Trail - with Tom Colkett
Is your membership current? Not a member? Join Georgia ForestWatch and help us watch your forests.
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