History of conservation in Georgia

During the mid-1990s Georgia’s landscape has seen much soil and timber depletion due to heavy and unregulated human impact. Such rapid and drastic changes on the environment caused congress in 1936 to pass the Soil conservation Act. Georgia selected certain soil along with many mountain districts and paid the farmers to reduce production and try new soil practices such as strip cropping. Today land conservation and reforestation is Georgia is still one of the most rapid growing organizations.


Overview

One of the goals of the Berry Schools when it was founded in 1902 was to found the Boy’s Industrial School with the few eighty-three acres she had received from her father to help keep students in a supportive environment (encyclopedia). Martha Berry taught her students how to practice proper industrial and agriculture techniques while still protecting and respecting the environment. Berry College today now has over twenty six thousand acres of land; sixteen thousand acres of the land are protected areas to conduct private and important conservational efforts as well as to manage wildlife populations.

Protection of bird species

The Berry lands are home to over forty-five different species of birds (Richards). There are three main species of birds that are protected on Berry’s campus. Those are the red cockaded woodpecker, the bald eagle and the mute swan.
The Mute swan, an invasive species of birds because they are native to northern and central Eurasia, has seen much controversy on if the species is really endangered or not. Mute swans are known to have a monogamous season thought sometimes it has been seen that they remain monogamous for the duration of their lifespan. In northern cities the mute swan is seen more as a nuance because they damage and eat most of the crops that native waterfowl birds consume. The swans also show to be territorial and aggressive towards native birds. Some states and lakes such as Swan Lake at Berry Collegekeep the mute swans as swan.jpgprotected birds despite criticism. In 1980 the once mute swan couple at Berry had six cygnets and grew up in Swan Lake till they were old enough to venture on their own.

The red cockaded woodpecker historically ranged from Florida to Maryland in numbers of over five thousand. Due to heavy deforestation of the woodpecker’s habitat and nesting tree, the long leaf pine, the red cockaded woodpecker population as decreased to fifteen hundred, making this species vulnerable. The woodpecker has been on the endangered species list before the passing of the Endangered Species act in 1970. To bring the red cockaded woodpecker back from near extinction, in 1993 Berry College began the Long Leaf Pine project. The project is still ongoing to protect both the red cockaded woodpecker and the long leaf pine.

Berry’s newest addition to the protected birds list is the bald eagle. The birds appeared in March 2012 and they were the first documented in the modern history of Floyd County to have nested in this area (Berry College - Experience It Firsthand). Though the bald eagle is considered of least concern of being protected, Berry College has created a live web cam at http://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/ for others to watch and study the eagles from a distance.

Long Leaf Pine project

The long leaf pine is amongst the most endangered ecosystems in North America. It has been estimated at some point there has been about ninety million acres of long leaf pines compared to the now estimated three hundred and seventy five thousand acres due to unregulated harvests of timber factories. Long leaf pines are considared a keystone spices and therefore has a large effect on the abundance of the ecosystem. One of the most interesting characteristics about the long leaf pine is that not only does it have a high resitance to fire but its reliance on fires because the pine requires the bare mineral soil for their seeds to germinate (encyclopedia). When a few long leaf pines have been discovered by a student running a cross country trail on Berry gounds at the base of Lavender Mountain, the long leaf project was created to help ensure the species survival. Today’s Berry College Longleaf PineProject is a long-term effort to reestablish a fire-maintained mountain longleaf ecosystem on the college’s Mountain Campus (Rogers). The Long Leaf Pine project is currently under the supervision of biology professor Martin Cipollini with the help of student workers and volunteers. There are trials along areas of Moutian Campus, such as the trail to the House o' Dreams for tourists and students to come and admire the rare long leaf pine.
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Works Cited
"Berry College - Experience It Firsthand." Berry College - Experience It Firsthand. Berry College, n.d. Web. 01 May 2013.

Black, John D. Biological Conservation, with Particular Emphasis on Wildlife. New York: Blakiston, 1954. Print.


Encyclopedia of Georgia. New York: Somerset, 1993. Print.

Rogers, Karilon L. "Seeing the Forest and the Trees." Berry College. N.p., 2007. Web. 01 May 2013.

Bearden, Jerry. Berry College wildlife management area; wildlife management plan / prepared by Jerry Bearden and Ted Touchstone. Mt. Berry, GA: Berry Schools, 1980. Print. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College

Richards Associates. Environmental anakysis of Berry College lands / by Richards Associates. Arlington, VA: Richards Associates, nd. Print. Print. Berry College Archives, Memorial Library, Berry College