What is Recon Jasper All About?

A Pair of Rare Rellict Trillium

I’ve often thought and sometimes said that the 50,000+ acres of public land in Jasper County will one day seem a much greater and more valuable resource than it’s viewed today. “The government land” that makes up about 25% of our county (the US Oconee National Forest, the US Piedmont Wildlife Refuge, and the State of Georgia Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center) is likely not a big blip on the radar of most locals. I suspect most Jasper County residents think very little about the resource we have that’s rare in Georgia south of the Appalachians.

When doing research for this site, when riding a gravel bike on dirt roads in Gladesville, or when surveying land adjacent to the National Forest,
many of the folks I encounter are from outside of Jasper County. Maybe we don’t appreciate what we have outside our back doors.

Lizard in March Sunshine

Lately I have been doing more walking in the woods; and most of the time I’ve been carrying a bush ax to clear trails while I’m ‘hiking’ and using GPS to more accurately map the Forest Service roads and trails, updating the information in Open Street Map. I recently completed a long dirt road race where the route included some of the Ocmulgee River Trail system and a few Forest Service roads. For these and other reasons, my attention and interests have begun to shift more to the great asset of public lands that we have here in Jasper County. I’ve had a very good time reconning some areas I was unfamiliar with, and I’ve learned a lot that I should have known before now about my home county.

Recon Jasper is my project to explore the wild areas that too many of us ignore and take for granted, to map and document fantastic natural features, and to share what I find with other people like you, hopefully encouraging you do do the same. This site is not limited to discovery of Jasper County’s public lands – I’ll look at our history and culture as well; but I expect a good bit of the content will be found in the National Forest, because Recon Jasper is about enjoying the outdoors and outdoor activities – and we have a whole lot of room to do that on our public lands. We have a great big backyard – let’s go outside and play!

Robert Jordan – March 2019

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