Chattahoochee River at Robertstown
The Environmental Group
SNCA’s Environmental Group is focused on the protection
and enhancement of the natural resources of the Sautee Nacoochee
community and environs. The hilly and mountainous areas of
White and Habersham counties that surround the Sautee and Nacoochee
valleys include major forestlands and waterways. Much of northern
White County lies in the Chattahoochee National Forest, parts
of which are incorporated into two of Georgia’s premier
state parks, Unicoi and Smithgall Woods. The spring that gives
rise to the Chattahoochee River is in the National Forest near
the White County line, and the river’s headwaters cascade
down the mountains toward Robertstown and the Helen Valley.
Soque River at Hwy 197N
Although Habersham County’s National Forest is not so
mountainous as White’s, it also includes several popular
scenic and recreational sites, such as Lake Russell, Panther
Creek and areas near Tallulah Falls. Habersham’s primary
water source, the Soque River Basin, is famous for beginning
and ending in the same county. The Soque joins the Chattahoochee
below the Buck Shoals area of White County in a part of the
river favored by canoeists.
As development and population growth continue at a rapid pace
in this attractive and highly desirable part of North Georgia,
the quality and quantity of our woodlands, surface waters,
and groundwater, already degraded, are increasingly threatened.
The Environmental Group monitors local, state, and federal
initiatives and policy changes that could affect our resources
and participates in pertinent public meetings and comment periods.
Recent governmental actions we’ve been involved with
include the U.S. Forest Service Revised Land Management Plan
for the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests and White County’s
stream bank and mountain protection ordinances.
In addition to ongoing projects described below, the Environmental
Group organizes seasonal wildflower walks, Earth Day celebrations,
and bird walks. We also sponsor forums on current environmental
issues, including most recently, the Woolly Adelgid aphid that
attacks native hemlock. Public participation in these events
is encouraged. They are posted in the White County News and
Northeast Georgian and on SNCA’s email Update.
with SNCA’s founding commitment to preserve
natural resources, our ongoing programs continue to focus on
water and trees, and recently we’ve begun a long-term
study of bird presence in our area. Birds not only are harbingers
of spring, but also may be indicators of a changing environment.
Moreover, birding activities are fun and a great way to recreate
while gathering environmental information.
If you are interested in participating in any of our ongoing
or occasional activities, please contact Lark Hutto at 706-865-7017.