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Great Satilla Preserve

CategoryMaster plan, Landscape
TeamPaul Cowley
LocationCamden County, Georgia, United States
DescriptionPaul says his love of roaming is how he became the designer and developer of the 2500 acre Conservation Development...The Great Satilla Preserve

The following is from GA/Alabama's Profiles in Conservation Magazine:

“Everyone’s image of swamps is of an impassable landscape; but
down along the Satilla the regular floods keep the understory open. You can cover a lot of ground in there, particularly compared to some of the higher areas.”

Wandering the flood plains—some were part of properties that he first began acquiring in the 1990s and others were neighboring lands that were just too enticing not to nose around in a little—Paul formed a vision of how to protect these amazing habitats that became what he refers to as the “five-acre plan.”
“I sold five acre lots to five friends as part of my first 65 acre purchase,” Paul notes. “This worked well so I teamed up with close friends to further our conservation vision on a larger scale.”
This collaboration became the Great Satilla Preserve (GSP), on which a nearly 2,000 acre conservation easement in Camden County, Ga. was donated to the Georgia Land Trust in 2006. The sale of lots on associated uplands allowed the donors to retire the note on the property and for Paul to work toward achieving more of his dream of “protecting high and low river swamp from ever being logged again.”

That dream helped drive another partnership that donated a 300-acre Satilla Bluff Preserve conservation easement adjacent to GSP to the Georgia Land Trust in 2008. This donation preserves the five acre plan, with landowners in the associated uplands having use of the protected lands for peaceful recreation, access to the river and some limited timber operations. “The plan with the timber is to selectively harvest the rest of it and then encourage the regeneration of the natural regime. Fortunately, much of the property has not had so many rotations of logging that the understory has been destroyed.” Cowley’s love of the area is not limited to swamps and bottomlands. He is also an admirer of the longleaf ecosystem. Areas within these Satilla easement properties that will support longleaf, including
some fine sandhill areas, will be restored to longleaf.
ClientPaul Cowley - Designer/Developer
Start date2008
Developed by

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