But fire isn't all bad, in fact, it's a necessary part of a healthy forest ecosystem. We'll also join forest managers as they employ a technique called prescribed burning at the Jones Ecological Research Center just south of Albany. The landowners here regularly perform prescribed burning for it's large amount of longleaf pine, a species of pine dependent on fire for it's survival. Other species have also adapted to this fire-dependent ecosystem including the red cockaded woodpecker and the gopher tortoise.
From its more developed shores in the Macon area to stretches of pure wilderness, the Ocmulgee River is truly one of central Georgia’s hidden treasures. And the best way to experience the river is by paddle. Every year, the Georgia River Network sponsors Paddle Georgia, an event which draws hundreds of paddling enthusiasts from all skill levels to take on a river. In 2007 they chose the Ocmulgee River and we tagged along to experience the river with them.