Nonprofit buys 6,150 acres for conservation in Georgia

LUDOWICI, Ga. (AP) — A nonprofit group says it has bought more than 6,150 acres (2,488 hectares) of forest to be kept in conservation in southeast Georgia.

The Conservation Fund purchased the land along the Altamaha River in Long County from the forest products company Rayonier, the nonprofit said in a news release.

The property, known as Beards Creek Forest, includes roughly 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) of land along the river, which is home to endangered mussels and fish such as the Atlantic sturgeon. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is also evaluating the property as a potential new home for displaced gopher tortoises, which are protected by state law as a threatened species.

The Conservation Fund said it will continue to honor private leases allowing forestry operations and recreation on the tract.