Alabama to Add Land to Walls of Jericho Preserve

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's Department of Conservation plans to add about 500 acres to the rugged Walls of Jericho preserve in the northeast corner of the state.

Alabama's Forever Wild land preservation program plans to use a $640,000 federal Forest Legacy grant to buy land along Estill Fork,
a mountain stream west of the Walls.

The stream is home to endangered freshwater mussels.

The assistant state conservation director, Greg Lein, said Forever Wild will also contribute about $300,000 toward the purchase.

The land is currently owned by The Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit preservation group working to protect the Paint Rock River watershed in Jackson County.

The remote Walls of Jericho preserve is often called the "Grand Canyon of the South."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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