Camp Merrill Transferred to Department of Defense
In December 2014, Congress, as part of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, voted to transfer Camp Merrill from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Department of Defense. Currently, the ranger camp is administered by the Forest Service as part of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, and is permitted to the Secretary of the Army.
The move will be completed no later than September 30, 2015, according to the act. Ten acres of property near Lake Lanier that is currently administered by the Army Corps of Engineers will be transferred to USDA.
Judy Toppins, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest spokeswoman, said her agency “will work toward a smooth transfer of jurisdiction over the (land)”.
Since this vote has occurred, ForestWatch has observed a larger presence of military personnel in areas outside of Camp Merrill on training exercises, e.g. on Brawley Mountain and Cooper Creek. See Expanding Military Training Activities in Cooper Creek, Winter 2015.