Southeastern Section–56th Annual Meeting (29–30 March 2007)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


LIVERMAN, Dawn E., Geosciences, University of West Georgia, 1601 Maple Street, Geosciences, Carrollton, GA 30118,

Future development plans for southeast Carroll County in west Georgia include the creation of Wolf Creek, a community proposed to include 19,000 residential units on 11,810 acres. This proposed project will be financed and built on land owned by Temple-Inland Inc., a traditional forest-products company that is the largest private landowner in Carroll County.

The planned development area is partially located in the Snake Creek reservoir watershed of Carroll County. Significant timber harvesting could potentially result in large amounts of sediment input, due to increased soil erosion. This would negatively impact the local water supply. Best management practices would need to be implemented to protect the reservoir watershed.

Using historic and recent Landsat imagery, land cover classifications for the years 2001 and 2005 were produced to monitor forest canopy condition on lands owned by Temple-Inland throughout Carroll County. These lands include property proposed for development as well as lands not scheduled for development.

A GIS was created of the project area to analyze canopy change. Land cover themes were unioned to identify areas where canopy status had changed over the duration of the study period. Polygons representing alterations in conditions were identified and coded to indicate loss or gain of canopy. No change in canopy condition was also coded.

Our observations indicate no significant timber harvesting activity occurred in the Wolf Creek project area during the study period. Significant canopy reestablishment of timber stands harvested prior to 2001 was observed instead. Harvesting activities were noted on Temple-Inland lands elsewhere in Carroll County during the study period. The Snake Creek Basin was not significantly impacted by soil erosion since timber harvesting was insignificant.

Carroll County can continue to use remote sensing data and GIS analysis to monitor canopy change in the Wolf Creek area as development ensues. The resulting data can be used to determine when Best Management Practices should be implemented to protect the county's water supply.