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and Urban Planning 33 ( 1995) 27-43

A comprehensive conservation strategy for Georgias greenways

Kerry J. Dawson
School of Environmental Design, Universiry of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-1845, USA

Abstract In 1976 the State of Georgia published the Environmental Corridor Study (K. Dawson, W. Munnikhuysen and R. Roark, 1976. Georgia Environmental Corridor Study. Office of Planning and Research, Dept. Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA). The study is a survey of greenway potential, focusing on a statewide interconnected system. The study process combined intrinsic values (natural resources, environmental quality and aesthetics) with extrinsic values (human use, accessibility, market demand and land use) and endangeredness to provide priorities for greenway conservation. In coordination with a unique program titled Heritage Trust, initiated by then-Governor Jimmy Carter to explore conservation easements, zoning and direct acquisition, the corridor study became recognized as an excellent source of information for greenway implementation. Under Heritage Trust, over 40 000 ha of land were acquired. The current governor, Zell Miller, established Preservation 2000, a program which is continuing the work of Heritage Trust for the 1990s. To quote from the recent Preservation 2000 brochure (H. Young, 1993. Preservation 2000 Program: Summary of Program and Progress. Dept. Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA). By the end of 1994, the state will acquire [an additional 40 000 hectares] of natural areas, parks, greenways and other wild lands. The State of Georgia has also updated the corridor study in the Georgia Trails and Greenways Plan (A. Soriano, 1992. Georgia Trails and Greenways Plan. Dept. Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA), which provides technical assistance to local communities on issues of greenway planning including outdoor recreation planning process, land and water conservation programs, management issues and agency action plans. Unique to all of the planning and acquisition programs has been the hypothesis that, when site nominations are made for conservation purchase on a statewide basis irrespective of greenways, most priority conservation areas are found to be within greenway boundaries. This is certainly due to the substantial conservation potential of greenways. Of Heritage Trust nominations, 90% were within greenway corridors. This percentage has increased to 93% with the Preservation 2000 program. Greenways are increasing rapidly in importance as an overall conservation strategy in many areas throughout the world.
Keywords: Corridors; Georgia; Greenways; Wildlife barriers; Zoning

1. Introduction When considering landscape elements generally agreed to have both environmental and cultural value, water is often the first that comes to mind. Useful for a variety of recreational purposes (swimming, fishing, canoeing, and boating, to name a few), fresh water also * Tel. 706-542-1365;
Fax 706-542-4485.

serves far more utilitarian ones like irrigation, municipal and industrial supply. Integral to many experiences of nature; lakes, streams and rivers add beauty to mountains and flatlands alike. The added value of views from distant peaks or across wetlands are celebrated throughout our culture. Biological resources are also considered essential parts of the natural environment, not only for their obvious recreational value, but also for the variety provided by the presence of flora and fauna.

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K..I. Dawson /Landscape and Urban Planning 33 (I 995) 2743

The wilderness experience, although difficult to define precisely, has an almost mystical significance, as our population has become more concentrated and further removed from undisturbed areas. Landscapes lacking marks of alteration have become precious, as have features of historical interest which give society a sense of place in the culture of the past. All of these elements and many more are associated with the environment and their preservation is, to some degree, considered to be in the public interest (Smith and Hellmund, 1993). As the occurrence of these natural elements is examined in specific areas, it has been discovered that they often coincide. Their convergence frequently produces rather distinct areas of special value. Streams are basic water resources but are also valued for their free-flowing, interconnected character. In conjunction with rugged terrain, forming waterfalls, cascades and spectacular gorges, they are considered especially unique. In valleys and coastal regions, wide floodplains create both swamps and hardwood forests which support varied and quickly disappearing ecologies. Wetland wilderness character is likely to produce areas relatively unsuitable for intensive human development because of flooding or lack of drainage. Ridges, steep slopes and unstable soils can also make building difficult and expensive. Archaeological sites are, coincidentally, found in great numbers along riverbanks and ridges because, with few alternate routes available, early settlement followed the contours of streams and passes. These are only a few examples, but they illustrate one of the basic hypotheses of greenway conservation: environmental amenities tend to occur together in areas historically popular for development but now bypassed or abandoned. Because of population pressure, we also find relatively few areas which are not considered suitable for development in the present. Combining these ideas, a very high concentration of nature-based amenities, and, conversely, most of the amenities in any given region are found in those few undeveloped areas. However, before the concept of clustered environmental amenities can be utilized, before it can even be determined that it is a valid concept, some methods for delineating areas of concentrated value are needed. Because these areas are associated with distinct physical characteristics, it is possible to derive their boundaries from information about physiography. Maps of waterways and their floodplains will include much of

the land with wilderness character, valuable wildlife habitat, and many similar resources. Simple topographic maps of ridges and steep slopes should locate additional greenway amenities. Maps of soil unsuitable for agricultural development should be indicators of least disturbance. By combining these various maps to locate where valuable characteristics converge, we can derive the boundaries of areas with clustered environmental amenities. The combined database can then be compared with maps of specific sites that are generally considered environmentally significant. Taken holistically, once the areas where we predict a concentration of environmental amenities have been located in this way, they tend to look like corridors (Lewis, 1964). Upon reflection, this result makes intuitive sense for at least two reasons: waterways and ridges are the most numerous corridors and they are linear by nature. Other concentrations of environmental value in areas such as steep slopes, coastal wetlands or unstable soils may not form perfect corridor patterns, but it is surprising how many do. In Georgia, then, greenways can be defined as areas of concentrated environmental value which almost exclusively tend to be associated with linear land and water patterns.

2. Greenway biology and conservation The current emphasis on island biogeography in the research of design and planning for greenways is largely due to recognition of isolation as increasing among continental reserves through land use encroachment and the subsequent alienation of such areas from ecological systems. In the instance of oceanic islands, isolation is a given -controlled as well as effected by distance at sea. On continents, causes of isolation frequently are densely occupied human environments that can be just as deadly to dispersal as sea distance, with problems such as barriers to movement (buildings, roads, fences, canals, etc.), lack of cover and trophic barrenness (Fig. 1). As reserves and nature parks become more island-like, attention to island biogeography should increase. The equilibrium theory of island biogeography as outlined by MacArthur and Wilson (1967) basically states that species richness is lower on small islands than on continents. Most of the basis for the theory has come from research studies on island ecology in the

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and Urban Planning 33 (1995) 2743


Fig. 1. In an unpublished survey of barriers to wildlife movement (fences, roads, open land, etc.) along the Ocmulgee River in central Georgia, barriers were twice as numerous 5 km from the river than at 1.5 km (Dawson, 1978).

Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Diamond, 1975). Number and diversity of species are being examined in relation to the fundamental processes of community biogeography: dispersal, invasion/colonization, competition/predation, adaptation, and extinction. Variables being studied which affect these processes include: geographic isolation, habitat structure, habitat productivity, habitat diversity, area, configuration, elevation, and climate (MacArthur, 1972). Sullivan and Shaffer (1975) feel that of the variables listed, area and distance (geographic isolation) are the two most important influences on island species numbers. Distance, a factor of geographic isolation, most affects colonization. Dispersal and subsequent invasion or reintroduction of species depends heavily on the difficulty of bridging distances between reserves. Together, immigration, exportation, and extinction rates determine species richness in a reserve at equilibrium and, because these rates are so dependent on sources of colonization, total isolation can be hazardous (Pickett and Thompson, 1978). The only way to truly avoid the problem of species extinction in a reserve is to include enough habitat to insure internal recolonization sources. One of the most difficult concepts to grasp in individual species biogeography is the creation of comamong munity. Because of interrelationships individuals that are crucial to survival, community formations become the focus of attention. One major difficulty in defining communities is that individual species intergrade with other species on a continuous basis. The chances of finding the same exact community at different locations is very small as the environmental variables of geology, hydrology, soils, and microclimate are enough to alter most of the processes.

It is recognized that the smallest of habitat islands can be valuable because large quantities of lower life forms can often survive with minimal range requirements and small habitats offer the preservation of unique microhabitats. Small areas can also serve as stepping stones between larger reserves and can provide multiple open space and education benefits (Whitcomb et al., 1976). However, large reserves are favored by most researchers in biogeography at least partly because the minimum area requirements for an individual species may be well known, while maximum area requirements to avoid extinction are more difficult to determine. Basically, as Diamond (1976) points out, species most in need of refuge are doomed in a system of small, isolated islands. This is, however, contrary to the point of the small reserve argument, which states that if forced by economics and/or resource availability to select only certain areas for reserve status, a series of small habitat reserves may be better than one large reserve if the large reserve is less diverse or more vulnerable.

3. Zoning to provide buffers Zoning and recreational use deployment within nature parks has been frequently cited in park master plans and in the literature (Forster, 1973; Crossen, 1979). Intensive recreation is recommended for development on the periphery of the park with the core or adjacent land protected from development. As described, this allows for buffering of species which have little tolerance for human contact, prevents loss of habitat to trampling, concentrates use for improved


K.J. Dawson /Landscape and Urban Planning 33 (I 995) 2743

management, and allows the natural qualities of the site (for which the original park was probably created) to continue. In the discussion of nature reserve versus nature park, if the area is a closed-access preserve, the issue of interior zoning becomes moot. The issue then becomes one of exterior zoning and the relationship of the reserve to surrounding landscape. As practiced in most regions of the United States, conservation zoning for land use is the most readily available means to reduce isolation short of fee title land ownership. 3. I. Clustering increases reserve concentrations Simberloff (1982) (and Simberloff and Abele ( 1976) ) , have argued repeatedly that size and configuration of nature reserves are secondary to habitat considerations. They feel that a single reserve would have to be very large and/or extraordinarily located to contain the same habitat diversity as could be found in smaller, clustered reserves. Further, they state that several small scattered reserves (with separate populations) would be less vulnerable to inbreeding depression, collective destruction by fire or other disaster, and the repeated introduction of disease. They also point out that clustered reserves contain more edge (a traditional area of species diversity) and could aid in the survival of mutually exclusive competitors if isolation was continued and habitat diversity maintained. Clustering of reserves achieves a high percentage of surface area in reserve status, encouraging compatible land use through example and preserving a rural atmosphere which may help to inhibit urbanization. If the distance between reserve segments is not too great and the level of disturbance in the separating landscape is not severe, a series of small reserves avoids excessive predation simply by volume. This has been the case in the Ogeechee Wildlife Management Area in the central Piedmont of Georgia (Fig. 2). There are 10 segments in the management area ranging in size from 0.2 to 50 km*, contributing to its distinction as having the most edge per volume of any wildlife management area in the southeastern United States. Surrounding land use has been determined by the pervasive quality of the boundary configuration so that the landscape has become heavily wooded. Corporate timberland connects some segments and enlarges others while still allowing some separation should fire, disease or com-

Fig. 2. The Ogeechee Wildlife Management Area in the central Piedmont of Georgia illustrates the concept of clustering small reserves to avoid the total isolation of the separate tracts from landscape patterns. Some tracts connect small watersheds to the Ogeethee River floodplain while others enclose diverse upland habitat.

petitors become problems. Human activity in the area is largely recreational and the rural atmosphere is sought after and encouraged rather than altered. The origin of the Ogeechee Wildlife Management Area boundaries is simple. The eastern Piedmont of Georgia was one of the first areas settled in the United States and land ownership tracts, over time, became small and discontiguous. With increasing acquisition costs and ever greater demands on the landscape, diminishing tract size may well be the dominant future trend for conservation in most suburban areas. 3.2. Connective corridors Landscape corridors are areas that either presently connect or could be restored to connect reserves in danger of problematic isolation. In most regions of the world, large corridors still exist, but the needs of a resource-starved society are taking their toll. Still, corridors are often larger than the existing reserves they contain and, compared with the agricultural and urbanized landscape they pass through, few would question their value. To quote Sullivan and Shaffer (1975, p. 16): A corridor would permit greater interchange between taxa for which the

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corridor is functional, large mammals for example.. . . [B] eing within the interactive field of two planned reserves, the corridor, of whatever surface area, will function as a preserve to a greater extent than an equivalent quantity of land outside the interactive field. The question of diminishing value for corridors arises solely around considerations of size and configuration. As an example, a corridor with a width dimension less than the two connected reserves would be less desirable for forest-interior species. Ecologically disjunct corridors such as hedgerows or cross-country forest fragments (areas that may be linear due to sociopolitical factors) suffer from the disadvantage of separation from basic landscape patterns occupied by natural corridors. Even these forest fragment corridors, however, have some value as stepping stones for species with high dispersal potential, as with most vegetative species, or for those with the ability to traverse barriers, as can most avian species (MacClintocket al., 1977).

4. Greenway conservation Size, configuration and habitat conditions are generally recognized as the primary design determinants of landscape reserves. Considering the pressure that human society places on small isolated reserves, it seems imperative that reserves be large enough to contain representative habitat and internal sources of colonization, be buffered by land use zoning, connected by landscape corridors, or clustered in areas where a high percentage of the surrounding land is zoned for conservation and can act as a medium of exchange between reserves. Small, isolated reserves with separate populations may be necessary because of economics or to avoid large area species elimination due to inbreeding, wildfire or disease, but again, must still be buffered and protected in some way. The most efficient means appears to be via the power of local government to zone land surrounding the reserve for conservation. Zoning for levels of activity, from management of renewable natural resources to light agriculture, should be considered on a case by case basis, but tough restrictions on

permanent intensive human occupation of land surrounding reserves have to be enforced. Some have argued that human society should be viewed as an integral part of nature and that as such, our recreational use of and close proximity to nature reserves should not be viewed as inherently problematical. The view of humans as animal life in nature seems an interesting question and a needed area of research. Any consideration of the human component of nature would necessarily have to carefully weigh human activities which promote and protect against those which tend to threaten or destroy the very elements which we value in natural surroundings. We have to realize that vandalism (especially against species not well represented in the justice system), predation and development are increasing steadily and, certainly for the present time, the more land buffering human activity from nature reserves, the greater are opportunities for resolving questions of preservation and exploitation before the issues themselves become moot. Since most reserve boundaries are administratively rather than ecologically determined, modeling of perimeter social influences must become as important as modeling perimeter ecological influences (SchonewaldCox, 1988). The aim of the Georgia Environmental Corridor Study was to model both social and ecological influences.

5. Georgia Environmental

Corridor Study

The Environmental Corridor Study (Dawson et al., 1976) was undertaken by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, under the direction of Commissioner Joe Tanner, to identify greenways for the state and to promote guidelines and programs for using, protecting, and preserving them. As a resource base for managing Georgias natural heritage, the primary-goal of the study was to contribute to the continuing efforts of the Department of Natural Resources in devising coherent methods of making the most of the states natural resources. The objectives of the study were, therefore, twofold: to define and identify a Greenway System for the State of Georgia through a dual process of data interpretation and field observation, and to provide a framework for future planning and resource management.


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The Greenway System has statewide significance for conservation of natural lands and cultural resources necessary to maintain human aesthetic values as well as the proper functioning of environmental processes. The study drew on existing data, organizing them to provide the basis for many future uses. Computerized geographic information systems were available at the time but were beyond the budget and capabilities of the project. The study was not meant to be an exhaustive database, but to serve as a framework for organizing existing data for future uses, and one under which new data could be assimilated or related as it becomes available. Trails, parks and land use planning, wildlife manriver basin studies and many other agement, inter-governmental inter-agency efforts in resource management are only a few of the endeavors to benefit from the work of the study. 5. I. Greenway System defined The State of Georgia Greenway System is defined as: a connected and integrated system of mostly linear, near-natural and cultural areas which, for various reasons, have remained as almost undeveloped corridors passing through the human-altered landscape, and which have a prime value to society and/or nature by remaining in their nearest to natural state. Greenways are areas differentiated from the remainder of the landscape by an unusual potential for providing tangible benefits to society without drastic alteration of their natural character. Greenways are generally characterized by strong interrelationships between their component parts and high vulnerability to the actions of society. They are areas of environmental concern, in the public interest, that shape regional and urban environments and perform natural system functions. These functions are most essential, and of primary benefit to a societys environmental quality in physical, biological, and psychological contexts. They provide special ecotones, contain vital natural systems and are areas of outstanding natural historic, recreational and scenic potential. Areas under greenway management perform in greatly beneficial ways at little or no cost to society. They are, however, easily damaged and detrimental effects of any particular action often extend far beyond the immediate site. In its natural or near-natural state, an area of great value for greenways tends to be less suitable for agri-

cultural or urban development. Any specific area may be suitable for several uses, however, and some greenways identified in the corridor study pass through major cities or prime agricultural land. The study did not address the potential conflicts between uses suitable for these corridors nor the economic, cultural or political values associated with use decisions in resource management. This is, certainly, of prime importance and is an area of concern which the state is pursuing on a continuing program basis.

6. Methodology The Environmental Corridor Study is divided into four main parts: ( 1) resource analysis, (2) final corridor selection and priorities, (3) corridor, planning and management options, and (4) summary and conclusions (Fig. 3). Resource analysis outlines the methods used to inventory and analyze resource data to identify the states major corridors. Relevant existing uses in the corridors were inventoried, accessibility evaluated and, finally, primary as well as secondary corridors identified based on both intensive use and environmental significance. Both types of corridors were then combined to form the nucleus of a statewide greenway system. The greenways identified were submitted to a field work team for evaluation. Potential corridors identified through resource analysis were further investigated during the final greenway selection and priorities process by a combination of field visitations, additional data research and aerial reconnaissance, aided by the Georgia Environmental Advisory Council, a specially appointed council of environmental specialists from around the state. The investigation of the greenways focused on five phased criteria: visual analysis, biological characteristics, physical characteristics, environmental conditions, and base data via maps and photographs. The elements of the investigation are mostly descriptive in nature and oriented to reinforce each other. When combined, they present a summary overview of each greenway. Produced by the selection process, maps show the refinement of potential corridors, preliminary greenways, the final system of connecting greenways, and are further enhanced by an analysis of greenway priorities. The maps and analysis also form a work program for future studies. Options which are explored

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pose was to make a preliminary selection of greenways that could be tested by field evaluation. To do this, selected resource mapping data was compiled on a state-wide scale of 1: 70 000 m and analyzed cumulatively for suitability to potential corridor selection using six key resource indications, specified in the following sections. The result produced a map of environmental areas from which a greenways plan could be drawn. The process is divided into two sections: ( 1) selection of greenways from both environmental and human use data, including existing use areas and accessibility data, and (2) selection of connecting greenways. Together, major and connecting greenways form a preliminary system. Fig. 4 presents graphically this process of analysis and it is discussed in detail in the following section. Greenway selection The key resource indicators chosen for greenway identification are: ( 1) slope, (2) vegetation, (3) geology, (4) soil, (5) wildlife, and (6) hydrology. Geology, soil and wildlife data were taken from the GEMS resource base prepared for the Georgia State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Slope data were taken from the recent state slope map prepared by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. Vegetation data were compiled from USGS topographic maps by Arkhora Associates, Inc. Data on hydrology were taken from the GEMS resource base, from comprehensive rankings of river quality in the Scenic Rivers of Georgia Study and from selected data sources of the Water Quality Division of the Department of Natural Resources. Slope. Slope has been mapped in three categories, O8%, 8-15% and 215%. Large homogeneous areas > 15% are considered unsuitable for development or agriculture and large areas of 8-15% in conjunction with smaller areas of 2 15% are likewise considered unsuitable, though low-density developments may be suitable in this slope range. Slopes of O-8% are most suitable for development and thus were not considered in greenway selection, except where combination factors (presence of wetlands, as an example) mitigated the exclusion. Vegetation. Vegetation was mapped in five broad categories: tidal marsh and fresh water swamp, large areas totally forested, areas of mixed forest and cleared land,

Fig. 3. The Georgia Environmental Corridor Study (Dawson et al., 1976) was divided into four parts: (1) a resource inventory which mapped and described cultural and natural systems of the state, (2) a process of condition assessment based on current status reports and ground truthing, (3) a strategic plan which described the primary options for conservation, and (4) state and federal land and water conservation acquisitions (emerging zoning ordinances and greenway movements have become the primary long-term coordination efforts).

include potential solutions to problems currently threatening the natural integrity of the greenways, an inventory of the means available for managing greenways, and mechanisms through which the Department of Natural Resources and other local, state and federal agencies can consider greenways in future planning. Following the maps and analysis is a simplified summary with recommendations. 6.1. Resource analysis The method of analysis is based on consideration of scale, time, resources and availability of data. Its pur-


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Fig. 4. The resource analysis brought natural and cultural issues intcI the creation of an overlay pattern delineating potential corridor locations.

areas of near total clearance, and urbanized land. The first and second categories are considered to provide clear value in greenway selection. Forested areas, with pine or hardwood, perform vital functions of soil retention, run-off absorption, oxygen production, wildlife habitat, etc. Swamp and tidal areas are invaluable food and oxygen sources for wildlife and for natural water purification. These areas are, therefore, considered undesirable for development or agriculture.

Geology. Geological features mapped are primarily those of the surface, although they reflect conditions below the surface. They include escarpments, faults, mountains, ridges and granite outcroppings. Large limesink areas are also mapped but were dropped from consideration since individual limesink locations are not available. These areas are all considered positive contributors to corridor identification, since all contain some elements which may make them unsuitable for

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development or agriculture as a result of soil erosion, foundation or topographical conditions. Soils. The soils resource map was prepared by soil conservation scientists for the GEMS resource base and classifies soil associations in three main categories according to their suitability for agricultural uses. Class III soils have severe limitations for agricultural use and consist primarily of steep, erosion-prone soils, sandy alluvial soils along coastal rivers, upland and hill areas and areas of fractured parent materials such as faults and escarpments. Since these same soil characteristics present limitations for urban development as well, they have less overall economic development potential than any other soil type and, therefore, are contributors to corridor identification. Wildlife. The GEMS resource base identifies four major indicator species: turkey, bear, deer and wetland birds, ranked according to best, good-fair, and poor habitats. Best habitats for each of the four have been mapped as positive contributors to corridor identification. However, for mapping simplification, best habitats for more than one species have been ranked equal to best habitat for a single species, providing a single value prime habitat map for the entire state. Natural features synthesis. The five indicators (slope, vegetation, geology, soils and wildlife) are weighted equally and overlaid to provide a synthesized map of natural resources for the state. To further simplify the process of corridor identification, the natural features synthesis is refined by reducing the number of groupings and by eliminating those areas which show only one natural resource indicator. This streamlining process results in an environmental areas map showing two indicators as low intensity, three as medium intensity, and four and five as high intensity for natural features. Hydrology/scenic rivers. Because of the social (extrinsic) nature of scenic rivers, the hydrologic indicator was held from the process until after the natural features synthesis. Scenic rivers are an important add-on not only because most major corridors contain rivers but also scenic river legislation has implications for environmental quality monitoring as well as land use conservation. Scenic rivers were ranked in two ways: according to physical and biological characteristics,

Table 1 Physical and biological characteristics of scenic rivers Physical characteristics Length Average discharge Variability of flow Turbidity Stream bed type Area topography Rock outcrops or shoals Sandbar Island Unique geological features Biological characteristics Natural areas Fishery population Pollution Unique biological features

and according to human use characteristics (Table 1). Only physical and biological characteristics are considered to contribute to greenway identification. Although these characteristics are aimed at producing a scenic ranking, they contain general natural and water quality features which are considered crucial to corridor identification. The rivers are mapped in three categories: those ranking in the top 16 (medium intensity), those ranked as proposed national scenic rivers (high intensity), and those not included in the first or second category (low intensity). 6.2. Preliminary corridors In order to assess comparative significance of concentrated greenway resources, preliminary corridors were mapped using a synthesis of two indicators, environmental areas and scenic rivers, ranked from nopresence to low, medium or high intensity. A low-intensity environmental area overlaid with a highintensity scenic river results in a ranking as a mediumintensity corridor. Low-intensity environmental areas which show no-presence for the combining indicator are eliminated, except where they form a connection or a continuation of a corridor system, in which case they are added back as low-intensity corridors. Medium intensity reflects any combination of rankings which includes medium intensity except for instances where medium combines with high intensity. High intensity on the preliminary corridors map, then, results from any combination of rankings which have no less than medium intensity combined with high intensity. The Preliminary Corridors Map (Fig. 5 (A) ) was simplified to form the Selected Greenways Map (Fig. 5 (B) > by


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Fig. 5. (A) The overlay of significant natural and cultural resources resources in most developed countries. (B) A simplified delineation patterns of (A). (C) Developed areas in which corridor (greenway) of (B) into an interconnected system. (D) Feature points that denote

reinforced the corridor-like patterning typical of remaining conservation of primary corridor (and greenway) opportunities based on the overlay restoration opportunities are greatest for connecting the primary corridors areas of special conservation value (natural areas, historic sites, etc.).

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(a) links made to corridors in obvious places of distances less than approximately 5 km, and (b) elimination of areas too small or not sufficiently linear to be considered. There are 26 greenways of varying length and intensity, named for features located within them. The connecting greenways map (Fig. 5(C)) was created from residual information gathered during the analytical process of greenway selection. These dropout areas are used in the human use and secondary selection analysis. They are resource areas in their own right which are, priorities permitting, worthy of consideration for conservation and/or restoration measures. These remaining areas can be categorized as: ( 1) natural features or natural areas that form corridor connections or extensions, (2) single natural feature indicator in conjunction with a low-intensity scenic river, or (3) areas that emerged as potential greenways but which were eliminated for a variety of reasons from the final 26 greenways identified for field evaluations. 6.3. Greenway priorities Because of the need for timely conservation action, it was necessary to establish a system to prioritize the 26 major greenways. The purpose of the system was not to set values on the greenways based on importance, but to create a time frame in which conservation action could proceed. It should be emphasized that these priorities do not represent absolute rankings but only a relative evaluation for urgency. All 26 corridors have been selected for conservation, but the different characteristics of each can greatly affect overall time line priorities. Priority classifications in three major categories were assigned: intrinsic value, extrinsic value, and endangeredness. Both resource analysis and field research were employed in the priority system, and judgements were made for each priority criteria based on a scale of 1-5. Each major criteria grouping was assigned a composite priority classification, again on a scale of 1-5. The entire priority system is described in detail below and is shown graphically in Fig. 6. Intrinsic value Intrinsic value refers to inherent natural qualities of the greenways, exclusive of the presence of potental impact in the corridor. There are three indices of intrinsic value: resource data, which are taken from the nat-

ural resource inventory; and visual and environmental quality, both of which are derived from field research. Criteria used here are the same as those mapped and described in the resource analysis; relative values of l5 are assigned for each criterion, a ranking is derived and a component classification is assigned. Environmental and visual quality criteria represent overall judgements of intrinsic value made by field investigation. These judqements were based on the data shown in Table 2. Extrinsic value Extrinsic value refers to quality and potential that is dependent upon or derived from human activity. In the case of the corridor study, it refers to compatible human uses (most forms of outdoor recreation), or from cultural or educational activities in keeping with the intrinsic value of the greenway. There are four indications of extrinsic value: human use areas, existing and proposed, accessibility (both of which are taken from the resource inventory phase), demand (from previously obtained data), and other existing extrinsic conditions (from field observations). ( 1) Existing and proposed human use. Existing and proposed human use and accessibility have been mapped and described in the resource analysis. The actual number of use areas has been totalled for each corridor and totals have been classified on a scale of l5, as previously described. (a) state or national parks; (b) state or national forests; (c) wildlife management areas; (d) heritage trust sites; (e) natural area or historic sites; (f) historic trails; (g) rare or endangered species areas; (h) reservoir or water recreation sites; (i) boat access sites (non-canoe) ; (j) fishable waters. (2) Accessibility. Accessibility is defined as the degree to which a greenway is accessible through transportation, population densities and the physical land use of the greenway. Criteria used are taken from the data mapped and described under the resource analysis. (a) population residing inside greenway boundaries from census figures, tabulated and then ranked l-5; (b) population near greenway from relative judgement of the number of people living within a l-2-h drive of the corridor, taking into account out-of-state population centers; (c) major roads from relative judgement of the number of major state and national highways and interstates which run through the greenway or serve it close to its boundary; (d) physical characteristics from


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Fig. 6. This chart assesses intrinsic and extrinsic conditions for use as a basis for corridor endangeredness and subsequently, for priority action. It is difficult to work on conserving potential greenways without priorities in place to pace conservation needs.

an examination of wetlands, slope and other natural elements. (3) Demand. Demand is the projection of outdoor recreation needs in all recreation categories, from primitive camping to swimming beaches. Actually a measure of unmet needs, demand is the difference between existing supply and total measured demand. Projec-

tions of demand are made from two different sources and both are regionalized by Georgia Area Planning and Development Commission (APDC) boundaries. A relative judgement has been made as to the extent to which a greenway is able to fulfill the demand in a part of the state that may consist of several APDC areas. The classifications derived from each source are aver-

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Table 2 Assessment of intrinsic value of greenways and visual quality

Natural resource data

based on environmental

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. I. 8. 9. 10. II 12. 13.


Vegetation - pine or hardwood forest coverage Vegetation - river or tidal marsh coverage Soils - those not conducive to agriculture or development Surface geology - incidence of faults or escarpments Surface geology - incidence of ridge or mountain formations Surface geology - incidence of granite outcroppings or limesink areas Slope of 8-15% - problematic to development and agriculture Slope of 2 15% - non-conducive to development Wildlife-incidence of existing and potential prime habitat for turkey Wildlife-incidence of existing and potential prime habitat for bear Wildlife-incidence of existing and potential prime habitat for deer Wildlife-incidence of existing and potential prime habitat for wetland birds Hydrology -presence of a major river or waterway in corridor, reflecting water quality, fisheries value, size and relative state significance Hydrology -presence of a scenic river as ranked in the Scenic River Study

hensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) which calculates unmet needs based on measured behavior patterns; (b) State Recreational Planning Division which measures unmet needs based on national standards of acreage needed for two basic kinds of recreation, active and passive. (4) Existing conditions. Existing conditions measure potential human use or extrinsic value in two ways: incompatible land uses and pollution. Incompatible land uses include urbanization or considerable amounts of rural development, as well as existing protective agriculture in the greenway. Existing timbering operations which significantly alter natural environment continuation are also considered incompatible land use. Pollution data are based on field observations as well as existing data sources, and are primarily those concerned with air, land and water pollution observed in the greenway. All data and observations refer to relative degrees of impact. Endangeredness Endangeredness is a measure of the impending problems which face the greenway, many of which have been discussed earlier in different contexts. The problems are either known to exist at present, or are seen as having high potential for occurrence. Each criterion is rated on a relative scale of l-5 and then combined for a composite endangeredness classification, also on a scale of l-5. The criteria are as follows: ( 1) impoundments; (2) channelization; (3) water pollution, all sources considered; (4) urbanization; (5) second home or resort development; (6) timbering; (7) endangered and rare species, as identified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Composite classijcations The Pressure Index is a composite classification of intrinsic and extrinsic values on a scale of 1-5. Conceptually, these values do not combine, and intrinsic and extrinsic values are most meaningful when treated independently. For example, a corridor ranking high intrinsically and low extrinsically would be treated differently than one which ranks high extrinsically and low intrinsically, even though both may rank equally in a simple combination of classifications. However, such a simple combination does give an index of the total pressure on a greenway by adding its natural





Physical characteristics based on the quality of the physical environment: geology, topography and hydrology Biological characteristics based on the quality of the living environment - the ecological support systems of flora and fauna Ecosystem completeness based on the degree to which the corridor encompasses total major or minor ecosystems as reflected by interrelations of natural functions and environmental quality maintenance Variety/diversity based on the degree to which the corridor encompasses a variety or diversity of physiographic regions or biotic and vegetation communities

Visual qualitv 1.


Visual pollution derived from the quality of the scenic attributes (natural features) of the corridor landscapes as associated with nonscenic qualities (mining cuts, dumping, etc.) Variety of views derived from the prevalence of differing types of views (panoramic, enclosed, focalized, etc.) Landscape features derived from the quality of special fatures in a corridor (waterfalls, natural areas, rock outcrops, rare

species, etc.)
4. Availability of views derived from the structure of the physical environment in terms of adequate viewing (ridges, openness, fall leaf drop, etc.)

aged to yield a single composite classification. These composites are based on: (a) Georgia State Compre-


K.J. Dawson /Landscape and Urban Planning 33 (1995) 27-43

value (intrinsic) to its suitability for human use (extrinsic value). The composite classification for permanent value is obtained by combining the pressure index with the endangeredness rating for each greenway. The permanent value ranking is subject to change from time to time as problems occur in a particular greenway, so that its permanence should be interpreted as a factor of the depth of the information which supports it, rather than any inherent fixed quality. This final classification sets priorities for action for each greenway, on a scale of l5.

ranked corridors should be approached conservation strategies.



7. ConeIusions In summarizing the results of judgements like those detailed above which have been in the forefront of determining greenway action and support over the last two decades, it would have to be admitted that the greenway effort has been successful in serving its purpose of preservation and promotion. The Blue Ridge Greenway includes federal wilderness areas in addition to extensive national forests and state scenic rivers and parks. The Coastal Greenway provides federal and state protection for 90% of the barrier islands and numerous coastal inland conservation areas. The Oconee, Alcovy /Ocmulgee and Upper Flint Greenways all have local greenway organizations and recent state land acquisition. The Altamaha Greenway has streamside protection for half of its 160 km length and major state and federal holdings in the Delta. The Altamaha is now the top national priority for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Recent conservation purchases have been made in the Ogeechee, Talladiga/Great Smokies Fault and OkefenokeelSuwannee Greenways. The Broad Greenway has no current acquisitions but does have one of the most active pubiic support groups in the state. Lookout/Pigeon Mountain, Ridge and Valley, Etowah/Chestatee, Pine/Oak Mountain, Ichawaynochaway/Flint, Alapaha, St. Marys and Satilla Greenways have local interest groups with a variety of acquisitions and zoning strategies underway. The Chattooga and Upper Chattahoochee Greenways have extensive state and federal land holdings reflecting their position as two of the most popular whitewater areas in the southeastern United States. The Chattahoocheel Brevard and Savannah Greenways have major urban activity with new riverfront renewal projects in the cities of Columbus, Augusta and Savannah. The Sandhills/Talbotton and Ochlockonee, Conasauga, and Fall Line/Red Hills have the least activity, probably because of difficulty in differentiating these areas from their surrounding landscape. The objectives of the corridor study have been to identify, discuss, and conserve a future open space system. The intent is to inform the public of the existence and value of potential greenways and to recommend

Priority summary
Rankings are not meant to be definitive, but they do serve to point out needed directions for future study and planning. As such, the ranking system provides a necessary framework for relative judgements among the greenways and allows the greenways to be grouped by their final classification under action priorities. However, there are considerations other than final classification which can be taken from the priority system to further aid in determining greenway problems and strategies for action. The priority system shows areas in which greenways rank the highest, quite apart from their final ranking, and this particularization can be quite useful. For example, the Chattooga Greenway (Fig. S(B)) ranks Iow in the fourth priority group largely because it is not endangered and it does not rank high in extrinsic value. It does, however, rank very high in intrinsic value, suggesting that the Chattooga Greenway may have a high priority as a purely preservation greenway. The Chattahoochee/BrevardGreenway also ranks low in the fourth priority group, largely because it has a low intrinsic value. However, it ranks highest in population, demand, access, urbanization and pollution, suggesting that special controls might be instituted to deal with those problems without making the overall greenway action a high priority. The priority summary not only shows whether the greenway ranks higher in intrinsic or extrinsic value, but also to what degree. Additionally, greenways ranking the same extrinsically and intrinsically are marked in both columns and thus receive needed emphasis when strategy for future treatment and planning is designed. Interestingly, 18 of the corridors rank in equal categories and four of the remaining rank within one class of each other, suggesting that all such closely

K. J. Dawson /Landscape and Urban Planning 33 (1995) 27-43


methods to manage the inherent characteristics of these corridors for the use and enjoyment of the public. Greenways have tremendous potential for providing benefits to society while remaining in a natural or nearnatural state (Dawson et al., 1991). Greenways also afford an ideal framework for a state-wide scenic trail system. They can supply continuous, extended, recreational experiences in a more diverse, pristine setting than would be possible without them. They are similarly ideal locations for designated scenic rivers and scenic roads. As recreational transportation corridors, they serve to link nodal areas of high environmental value, such as state parks, natural areas, and historic sites, resulting in a unique, interconnected system. A single corridor can accommodate several modes of transportation, such as hiking, boating and bicycle trails, or scenic roads, thus lending great flexibility to the system. Where corridors are uninterrupted for extended lengths, they allow long distance movement of wildlife, and have the potential for wildlife management areas with particular advantages. Greenways, too, have great potential as educational tools. They can be ideal laboratories for the study of ecosystems and past cultures. Conservation-recreation centers, to serve as focal points for activities that would combine recreation and education, have already been built in several of Georgias corridors, most notably by the National Park Service on the Chattahoochee River. Whether it is consciously decided or not, it is likely that much of future conservation research will center in greenways, simply because the most accessible conservation areas are there (Dawson, 1985). Aside from any potential benefits, many immediate returns result from natural processes within the greenways. Forested ridges protect the headwaters of many streams, maintaining a supply of high-quality water with minimum fluctuation in volume. It has been documented that river swamps serve important water purification functions, which in some cases would have to be performed by treatment plants, if the swamps were drained. Forested floodplains serve to store excess water during floods, thereby building water tables while reducing flooding downstream. When swamps are drained and floodplains cleared and paved, flood damages downstream are often increased, and loss of habitat is not insignificant. Benefits, existing and potential, depend upon greenways remaining predominantly in their natural or near-

natural state. In the absence of a conscious decision to protect them, they will likely be negatively altered. Even assuming such a decision, and the best means imaginable for acting upon it, maintenance of every greenway in an absolutely pristine state is highly unlikely. There will be proposals for conflicting uses, and sometimes alterations or development to some degree should and will prevail when clearly in the longterm public interest. However, before a decision to alter a greenway is made, it must be thoroughly considered what the loss of benefits derived from maintaining the greenway in its natural state might be, including the inherent opportunities for future generations. Because benefits cross local jurisdictional lines, greenways are of importance to the state and nation as a whole. No truly effective management plan could be drawn from a purely local perspective. The corridor study was intended, from the broader state view, to identify the most important greenways, focus attention on their value, and suggest means for action which can be useful in protecting them. It is not intended to draw attention away from the importance of management responsibilities that government has to the land outside of the greenways. Instead it focuses on demonstrating the relationships of remaining potential greenway landscape to the whole. A 20-year plan is nearing completion for the state of Georgia. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources held public hearings during the fall of 1992 on updated plans for a statewide greenways system. Georgias $20 million Preservation 2000 initiative is meant to continue acquisition of the most valuable conservation lands in the state begun in the 1970s with the similarly funded Georgia Heritage Trust initiative under then-Governor Jimmy Carter. Planning has evolved continuously but has always relied on updated analysis of the states resource database as the foundation for decision making. The corridor study concept remains relatively simple: river flood plains, low-fertility soils, and steep slopes are examples of areas that are generally not attractive to development, yet they are also some of our most valuable resources for many kinds of recreation, conservation, and sites of cultural interest. An early hypothesis of work on greenways in Georgia has been hat areas derived by synthesizing resources and human use demand contain most of the valuable elements considered essential to good conservation sites: historic


K. .I. Duwson /Landscape and Urban Planning 33 (1995) 2743

value, unique natural areas, and recreational access. Testing this hypothesis has revealed that, 90% of identified natural and cultural resource elements under the Heritage Trust program were found in areas which also had the largest number of vulnerability characteristics (Fig. 5 (D) ) . Under the Preservation 2000 program, this percentage increased to 93%, implying that various natural and historic resources (wildlife areas, boating opportunities, trails, archaeological sites, etc.) are primarily connected and the connections can be identified. Secondly, when the sites are amassed in larger groupings, they are in the least developable locations, so that preserving them has not proved to be an economic hardship to society as a whole (Dixon and Sherman, 1990). To take the concept further, recent research in the area of designing wildlife and wildland reserves has indicated that primary nodes or large reserves are necessary for proper management but that inter-connections between the primary areas are necessary for conservation strategies (Shafer, 1990). For example, even though territorial ranges for most Georgia game species occupy very limited areas, the immigration of species into a depleted reserve is possible only through stocking or mitigation via a connecting link to another non-depleted reserve. This applies to non-game wildlife species as well as vegetation. Ecological diversity always seems to be lower as the areas size and continuity decreases (Cutler and Hudson, 199 1) . Through a system of nodes (parks, wildlife management areas, reserves, state and national forests) and interconnected corridors (river flood plains, ridges, non-developed greenbelts), the expenses of management are lower and the quality of management results are much improved (Crossen, 1979). Hiking trails and canoe trails in systems with nodal facilities do not require that new or additional campsites and trailheads (parking areas) be built. Recovery programs for rare and endangered species, which sometimes require extensive habitat and seclusion will have the necessary environment (Kushlan, 1979). Instead of scattering state and national parks, wildlife management areas, and archaeological preserves, they can be coordinated as part of an over-all system, increasing benefits for everyone concerned (Forster, 1973). Rather than building separate trails which have little interaction with surrounding land uses, the system allows management objectives to complement each other. Wilderness

state parks adjacent to wildlife management areas preserve the wilderness experience in both. Habitat in wilderness areas benefits wildlife management areas while the reverse is also true ( Schonewald-Cox, 1988). Valued natural elements are numerous in Georgias greenways; their unique and beautiful landscapes, biological diversity and social and economic value are of importance not only to the residents of the state, but to the larger community as well. It is both timely and fortunate that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources has placed a high priority on research and study of greenway components, emphasizing their importance as a basis for conservation throughout the state. For the preceding 20 years, the methods and strategies, the priorities and the selections of the Environmental Corridor Study have been instrumental in directing and motivating greenway conservation. As a starting place, the study has proved invaluable, and as a guide in the continuing evolution of the process of conservation of environmental corridors, it has proved to be a powerful tool. A truly comprehensive plan has emerged and has been implemented largely due to the statewide focus and synthetically constructive nature of the study. A resource without doubt of the highest value in defining the overall character of the state of Georgia is being preserved to the benefit of present and future populations, of human and animal alike. Nature doesnt really need us to protect it, the power of its adaptive qualities have created much of what we admire in natural settings. Wildlife and native plants are likewise products of adaptation, and require only the most benign neglect, in most instances, to thrive. The protection and conservation addressed throughout this paper are necessary as a result of human encroachment on landscapes and ecological systems which are hardpressed to survive intact under the pressure of our activities and sheer numbers. Where we can intelligently and with all due speed, work to determine methods of protecting and preserving that which we both admire and threaten, we are less likely to find ourselves, or our children, in the situation of having to face the unnecessary extinction or extirpation of some of the most beneficial, beautiful, and irreplaceable natural elements of this world. References
Crossen, T.L., 1979. A new concept in park design and management. J. Biol. Conserv., 15: 39-50.

K. J. Dawson /Landscape and Urban Planning 33 (I 995) 27-43


Cutler, R. and Hudson, W., 1991. Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity. Island Press, Washington, DC, 214 pp. Dawson, K., 1978. Ocmulgee River Barriers Survey. Unpublished Study, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA, 77 PP. Dawson, K., 1985. Natural area planning for recreational use transition. .I. Landscape Plann., 12: 11I-123 Dawson, K., Francis, M. and Jones, S., 1991. Davis Greenway, Contemporary Landscape Architecture: An International Perspective. Process Architecture, Tokyo, p. 232-233. Dawson, K., Munnikhuysen, W. and Roark, R., 1976. GeorgiaEnvironmental Corridor Study. Office of Planning and Research, Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, GA, 370 pp. Diamond, J.M., 1975. The island dilemma: lessions of modern biogeographic studies for the design of natural reserves. J. Biol. Conserv., 7: 129-146. Diamond, J.M., 1976. Island biogeography and conservation: strategy and limitations - a series of position papers. Science, 193: 1027-1029. Dixon, J. and Sherman, P., 1990. Economic of Protected Areas: A New Look at Benefits and Costs. Island Press, Washington, DC, 234 pp. Forster, R.P., 1973. Planning for Man and Nature in National Parks: Reconciling Perpetuation and Use. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Merges, Switzerland, 210 pp. Kushlan, J.A., 1979. Design and management of continental wildlife reserves: lessions from the Everglades. J. Biol. Conserv., 15: 279-29 1. Lewis, P.H., Jr., 1964. Quality Corridors for Wisconsin. Landscape Architecture. Am. Sot. Landscape Archit., Louisville, KY, Vol. LIV, No. 2, pp. 100-107.

MacArthur, R.H., 1972. Geographical Ecology: Patterns in the Distribution of Species. Harper & Row, New York, 301 pp. MacArthur, R.H. and Wilson, E.O., 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Monographs in Population Biology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 312 pp. MacClintock, L.R., Whitcomb, F. and Whitcomb, B.L., 1977. Evidence for the value of corridors and minimization of isolation in preservation of biotic diversity. Am. Birds, 31( 1): 110-179. Pickett, T.A. and Thompson, J.N., 1978. Patch dynamics and the design of nature reserves. J. Biol. Conserv., 13: 122-140. Schonewald-Cox, C., 1988. Boundaries in the protection of nature reserves. Bioscience, 38(7): 470486. Shafer, C.L., 1990.Nature Reserves: Island Theory and Conservation Practice. Island Press, Washington, DC, 189 pp. Simberloff, D.S., 1982. Big advantages of small refuges. Natural History April 6-14. Simberloff, D.S. and Abele, L.G., 1976. Island biogeography and conservation: strategy and limitations - a series of position papers. Science, 193: 1032. Smith, D. and Hellmund, P., 1993. Ecology of Greenways: Design and Function of Linear Conservation Areas. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, 308 pp. Soriano, A., 1992. Georgia Trails and Greenways Plan. Department of Natural Resources, State of Georgia, Atlanta, GA, 18 pp. Sullivan, A.L. and Shaffer, M.L., 1975. Biogeography of the megazoo: biogeographic studies suggest organizing principles for a future system of wild lands. Science, 189: 13-17. Whitcomb, R.F., Lynch, J.F., Opler, P.A. and Chandler, S.R., 1976. Island biogeography and conservation: strategy and limitations - a series of position papers. Science, 193: 1030-1032. Young, H., 1993. Preservation 2000 Program: Summary of Program and Progress. Department of Natural Resources, State of Georgia, Atlanta, GA, 11 pp.