CLARKESVILLE - Land near a popular trout fishing river has been added to the Chattahoochee National Forest in the mountains of northeast Georgia.
Officials with the nonprofit Trust for Public Land say the addition of the 21 acres in Habersham County will give the public easier access to the Tray Mountain Wilderness Area and the Soque River.
The San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land said it worked with the U.S. Forest Service to purchase the property from Rabun County Bank following a foreclosure.
Curt Soper, the trust's Georgia state director, says that protecting the Soque River property increases public access to thousands of acres of publicly owned national forest. He said the river also contributes to the quality of drinking water for millions of people downstream in Georgia, Alabama and Florida.