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Stewart buffer draws state grant
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Liberty was one of three area counties to receive Georgia Land Conservation Program grants to protect local undeveloped lands, Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Thursday.
The GLCP, managed by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, awarded $300,000 to the county to buy a conservation easement for a 201-acre tract of pine flatwoods, wetlands and creeks abutting Fort Stewart.
The conservation easement protects the lands, which contain the largest area of rare longleaf pine forest ecosystem remaining in Georgia, from development.
The grant marks the first land conservation partnership between the GLCP and Fort Stewart's Army Compatible Use Buffer program, which seeks to limit incompatible development adjacent to the fort and to protect environments.
ACUB will match the GLCP funds and additional financial support will come from a discounted sale of the easement by the property owner, the Georgia Land Trust.
State Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson (R-Savannah), who represents Liberty County, said he was "pleased with the stewardship of our land exhibited by Gov. Perdue."
"The Liberty purchase of a conservation easement helps buffer Fort Stewart," he said, "and leaves the land in private hands."
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