New rules in the Shoreline Use Permit (SUP) program at Hartwell Lake and J. Strom Thurmond Lake reduce the maximum size of trees or vegetation that can be removed within an authorized underbrush area associated with a SUP. The current SMP at Hartwell and Thurmond Lake allowed for removal of trees or vegetation up to 4 inches in diameter. The new SUP reduces the size to less than 3 inches in diameter for removal, underbrushing or cutting at Hartwell Lake and in Elbert and Abbeville counties at Thurmond Lake. Measurements will be taken at ground level.
In late 2015 the Savannah District commander approved several minor changes to the Shoreline Management Plans (SMP) for Hartwell and J. Strom Thurmond Lakes. One of these minor changes apply to property owners who live adjacent to the public land and have a SUP for underbrushing at either Hartwell or Thurmond Lake.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act on April 2, 2015*. The established range for this species includes all counties surrounding Hartwell Lake and two counties (Elbert and Abbeville) bordering J. Strom Thurmond Lake. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has defined habitat to include all trees 3 inches in diameter and larger.
For more information on Shoreline Use Permits, please contact the Hartwell Project office at 888-893-0678, or the J. Strom Thurmond Project office at 800-533-3478. Ask for the Shoreline Management Office.
* Federal Register Vol. 80, No. 63 and 50 CFR Part 17