Three Forks Project
One of the most beautiful areas in the Southern Appalachian chain is the Three Forks area in Fannin County, Ga. Both the Benton-MacKaye and Appalachian trails pass through Three Forks. Heavy use and other problems have left its mark on this once pristine wilderness.
Go Outdoors USA has adopted Three Forks and performs various volunteer activities in the area. We generally schedule 3 volunteer work days in the area a year, including a weekend campout.
Reducing Human Impact
Dicks Creek has been heavily impacted by irresponsible human activity. One of the more obvious impacts to the area is littering. In our very first workday at Dicks Creek, Go Outdoors USA hauled out over 500 pounds of trash. We have initiated a series of projects in the area
- Promoting public awareness about responsible area use by our ongoing presence in the area.
- Installing and maintaining informational signage
- Campsite segregation –Implementing various techniques to better define designated camping area. This include numbering and mapping sites, restricting vehicle access to areas, eliminating unauthorized fire pits, protecting stream corridors, and other important activities.
- Special project implementation – These are area specific-projects identified by either Go Outdoors USA or the US Forest Service. One such project is building an informational kiosk.
- Hemlock Monitoring and Treatment
- Litter clean-up
- Promoting wildlife habituation awareness
The impact to the area has been so great that consideration has been given to closing this beautiful area to visitors. It is GOU’s belief that by working to reverse the human impact and providing public education we can keep area accessible for future generations
Hemlock Monitoring and Treatment
At Three Forks, the US Forest Service had treated infested hemlocks in past years. Go Outdoors has helped monitor the progress of these treated trees. However, at Go Outdoors, we felt past treatment in the area didn’t go far enough.
Go Outdoors USA now partners with Save Ga Hemlocks to treat hundreds trees in and around the Three Forks area. We will treat and continue to monitor these trees in the upcoming years.
For more information on the hemlock infestation, visit our Save the Hemlocks page.
Water Quality Monitoring
Many of our volunteers are certified by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream to perform water quality testing. In the Three Forks area, we will regularly monitor water quality to establish baseline data. This baseline data will allow us to detect any changes in the water quality. We currently have 2 active test sites in the area.