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Georgia ForestWatch envisions a future where people enjoy forests that have reached their majesty and where intact natural processes support healthy ecosystems and thriving biodiversity for all.
- Natural Processes – In most cases, we support a hands-off approach to public land management.
- Protections – Achieving our vision requires protecting and appreciating our national forests and the watersheds, native plants and wildlife that call these forests home.
- Relationships – We strive for a positive, non-adversarial, partnership with the USFS. We support the goals and missions of our partners and membership coalitions, and believe the only way to have good partners is to be a good partner.
- Science – Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we are at a defining moment. We adhere to data and facts derived from the peer-reviewed scientific process to guide our positions.
- Input – We support the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the voice it gives stakeholders in managing our public lands. We oppose all attempts to weaken NEPA or reduce the voice of stakeholders.
- Collaboration – We partner with a broad diversity of individuals, government agencies, legislators, and organizations and are stronger and more effective when working together.
- Equity and Inclusion – We support the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and that increasing the diversity of engaged public land stakeholders and supporters is vital to achieving our mission. As an inclusive organization representing a diversity of views, interests, and opinions on public land policy and management, we welcome all who support our mission, vision, and values.
- Access – We support equitable, safe access for all that does not negatively impact public land.
- History – Humans have inhabited North America for at least 10,000 years, and our public lands are the rightful ancestral homelands of Indigenous peoples.
- Stewardship – We will reduce our ecological impact on the earth by reducing, reusing, and recycling at every opportunity.
J.D. McCrary joined Georgia ForestWatch in September 2021 as Executive Director.
J.D.’s love of the forest dates back to his summers at the YMCA on Lake Burton and as a whitewater raft guide. J.D. holds a Master’s in International Development from Tulane University, has a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University and a B.A. in Education from Georgia Southern University. He is also a graduate of Harvard University Business School’s executive course Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management.
With a domestic and international career of over 25 years, he has had the unique opportunity to work on all seven continents. Much of his career has focused on alleviating forced human migration, and he began working with refugees in the process of building a nonprofit program providing employment and reconstruction services in Iraq and Palestine. His overseas experience also includes serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Morocco. Since 2008 J.D. has served refugees, survivors of human trafficking, and other immigrants domestically seeking a safe place to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. He is the founding chair of the Welcome Co-Op, an organization supporting newly arriving refugees in Georgia with housing and other essential services, and is a founder of the public outreach and advocacy group the Coalition of Refugee Serving Agencies.
Rachel is excited to combine her interest in nonprofit development with her love of Georgia’s forests, in support of Georgia ForestWatch’s work in protecting the state’s forests and natural resources.
Board of Directors:
Anne Heikkila, President
Trushar Mody, Treasurer
Conasauga Ranger District
Blue Ridge Ranger District
Chattooga River Ranger District
Oconee Ranger District
37 Years of Watching Your Forest
Georgia ForestWatch 1986 – 2023
Georgia ForestWatch has a rich and deep history that has been compiled here in book form for the first time and from the work of several authors over several years.
Download History Book
To preserve and protect our national forests.
Georgia ForestWatch was newly birthed in August 1986.
Volunteers make our organization the best it can be.
All donations made directly impact our organization and the forests.
We halt clear-cutting and preserve old-growth, among other things.