Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impoundment of over 12,000 acres of water surface and 23,000 acres of adjacent land, is the oldest multipurpose project in the Corps’ South Atlantic Division. It has a shoreline of 270 miles and is one of the most visited Corps of Engineers projects in the nation with over six million visitors in 2004. However, rapid development in the area and increasing visitation to the lake has created a strain on natural resources in the area. In early 2003, it was recognized that a 20 acre stand of longleaf pines existed on the northern shore of
Lake in a lease area shared with the Georgia Department of Natural Resourses . Once plentiful in the area, the longleaf pine had all but disappeared from the area. The longleaf had an orginal range of approximately 95 million acres in this country but now only exists on 2.5 million acres. Longleaf pine is one of the slower growing native pines and cannot compete with other pines when growing in mixed stands. Subsistence farming and years of clearing for pasture land and recent development in the area had left the longleaf to just this 20 acre stand where there once was wide growth. A plan was developed to save the trees and expand the stand into a longleaf pine woodland. Common goals, the recognition of declining ecosystems, and the need to save threatened natural resources motivated a partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Southern Company, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which brought much needed resources and expertise into the project. The plan consists of approximately 300 acres of loblolly and shortleaf pine to be converted over to a longleaf woodland. Further, the partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation was expanded into a separate project on lands leased to the
Parks and Recreation Department. It was recognized that 35 acres of former pastureland known as Durham’s Pasture would be a prime site for the reforestation of bottomland hardwoods, something that also was severely lacking in this urban area.