Bartram Forest

Milledgeville Office at 478-445-5164 or tclymer@gfc.state.ga.us

The Bartram Forest is a 2,113 acre tract of land located in Baldwin and Wilkinson counties. It is owned by the State of Georgia and managed with Forest Stewardship multiple use concepts by the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC). This concept integrates timber, wildlife, recreation, soil, water and aesthetics into one workable plan.

Presently, 1,600 acres are suited for growing timber and predominantly planted with pine trees. Wetlands, made up of creeks and beaver ponds, utilize 270+ acres; the Baldwin Seed Orchard has 100 acres.  Right-of-ways - natural gas, electric, and highway/roads - make up the balance. The proposed "Fall Line Freeway" will use 477 acres at some point in the future.

Prior to 1969, most of the land was in pasture, which was owned and controlled by the Department of Public Health, Central State Hospital. On September 25, 1969, Governor Lester Maddox signed an Executive Order transferring the property from the Department of Public Health to the Forestry Commission.

Following a management plan written in the early 1970's a major afforestation effort was begun to convert most of the idle pastureland to trees. Approximately half of the land area was designated to be developed as the Baldwin Seed Orchard (BSO). For the next 18-20 years, BSF and BSO were managed extensively for development of seed orchards. By 1990, approximately 850 acres of seed orchard had been established.

In 1991, an updated forest management plan was written for BSF following the guidelines under the Forest Stewardship Program. During this time, activities at BSO were greatly reduced by budget reductions. As orchards were no longer needed for seed production or tree improvement and tree breeding activities they were cut and reforested.

Public uses of the Bartram Forest include hiking and mountain biking. The property is a Wildlife Management Area that allows archery hunting only.


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