III. Introduction

A. History

The recorded history of the Jocassee Gorges area dates back to 1539 when Hernando deSoto explored the area. South of what is now Lake Jocassee Dam was once Keowee Village or Keowee Town, the capital of the Lower Cherokee Indians. Keowee Village was located just across the Keowee River (Oconee side) near the confluence of Crowe Creek and Keowee River. In 1690 James Moore led a British expedition through the area in search of gold.

Current area names are derived from the Cherokee language (Blue, 1997). Names such as "Jocassee," "Keowee," "Toxaway," "Eastatoee," and "Oconee" reflect the Native American history of the area. Keowee meant "The Place of the Mulberry" and "Uk-OO-Na" (Oconee) meant "watery eyes of the hills." This word undoubtedly described the many springs, streams and creeks that drain off the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

The Vale of Jocassee was home to the Cherokee Indian Nation. It now lies some 300 feet beneath the surface of Lake Jocassee, near the Toxaway River and Whitewater River confluence, approximately one-half mile north of Jocassee Dam. Jocassee and its meaning are derived from the legend of a Cherokee maiden. Chief Attakulla and his Oconee tribe, known as the "Brown Vipers," lived on the west side of the Whitewater River. The Eastatoees, a rival tribe, lived on the east and were called the "Green Birds." It is likely that the Green Birds received their name from the Carolina parakeet (Conoropsis carolinensis), a species that became extinct in 1904. This was the only endemic parrot of North America. The Eastatoee area was the last site the species was recorded in South Carolina. Legend has it that a young warrior named Nagoochee lived among the Green Birds but was not afraid to enter Brown Viper hunting grounds. One day while hunting in Brown Viper territory (probably the area known as Musterground today), Nagoochee fell and broke his leg. Nagoochee was convinced he would perish in the wilderness, when he heard the singing of Jocassee, Chief Attakulla's daughter. Jocassee took Nagoochee back to her father's lodge and nursed him back to health. They fell in love and Nagoochee stayed with the Oconee tribe. Later during a fight between the tribes, Jocassee's brother, Cheochee, killed Nagoochee. When Cheochee returned from battle with Nagoochee's head dangling from his belt, Jocassee didn't say a word. She slipped into a canoe and onto the water. As Jocassee still gazed at the head of her lover, she stepped into the water. Legend claims that she did not sink but walked across the water to meet the ghost of Nagoochee. The name Jocassee means "Place of the Lost One."

By the late 1700s, trade routes between the Cherokees and Europeans were well established (Hembree and Jackson, 1995) . Keowee Village or Keowee Town was a central "hub" along the Indian trading path that connected Cherokee towns and villages throughout eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and northwestern South Carolina with the Atlantic Ocean. In 1732, traders delivered more than 200,000 deerskins, which had resulted from trading with Cherokees, to Charleston. Cherokees became well supplied with European firearms, ammunition, tools and clothing. In 1730, Sir Alexander Cummings came to Keowee Village from England and made a treaty of friendship with the Cherokees. By the mid 1700s, however, the relationship among the Cherokees, European settlers, and traders was growing tense. In response, the colony of South Carolina placed a trade embargo on the Cherokees in 1751, and Governor James Glen ordered construction of Fort Prince George just across the river from Keowee Village in 1753 (McKown, 1988). The tensions between Europeans and Cherokees escalated and resulted in the war on the Cherokees in 1759-1760. In November 1785, General Andrew Pickens hosted a large gathering of Indian chiefs along the banks of the Keowee River. On November 28, 1785, a treaty was signed that gave all of the "Jocassee Gorges" land area, with the exception of northern Oconee County, to the United States. It would not be until December 1835 that the Oconee mountains of Jocassee Gorges were ceded to the United States. This controversial treaty, signed by a very small representation of Indians, granted the United States all the Indian territory east of the Mississippi.

The unique and rare natural resources of the area were observed and noted as early as 1788, when French botanist Andre Michaux discovered a rare wildflower with pink-white blossoms at the confluence of the Toxaway and Whitewater rivers (now under Lake Jocassee). This rare wildflower, the Oconee bell, is native to only a few counties in the Blue Ridge area.

In the late 1700s European settlers began moving into the region. Settlers came to the Horsepasture, Laurel Fork, Big and Little Canebrakes, Musterground, and other portions on the Jocassee Gorges property as early as the 1780s, when the land was still under Cherokee control. The new Indian line (boundary) was finally delineated and marked around 1797.

European settlers to the Horsepasture, Laurel Fork, and Big and Little Canebrake primarily came in by way of Eastatoee Valley. The settlers, mostly of Scotch and Irish descent, had generally originated from Virginia and Pennsylvania (Wyche and Kilgo, 1997). Others came from Charleston to the Horsepasture area (Turner and Sherrill, 1997). Land grants in the Jocassee area were recorded as far back as 1791.

During this era, professional market hunters, called long hunters because of their long rifles, hunted the ridges and gorges of the property. The market hunters had a camp in North Carolina called Puncheon Camp. The hunters primarily shot bears and deer, preserved the meat and hides, and later sold them in Asheville, Greenville, Spartanburg, and coastal towns.

Over time more people moved into the mountains and mountain valleys. Early settlers travelled the area along the well-established network of Cherokee trails and trade routes. With sweat and determination, settlers carved farms and homes into the rugged and remote land of the gorges. Their life was difficult and is perhaps best described by C.T. Wyche, and J. Kilgo in The Blue Wall. "They survived by growing corn and making liquor, raising hogs and rearing children. Tough and independent, they married among themselves, forming strong ties of blood kinship. They built schools and churches, opened stores and ran grist mills .... a boy plowing a mule through rocky ground; a man hauling corn to his still in the gorge, then moving that still by night because of the rumor of a revenuer; a woman with raw hands humming a tune in a minor key as she hangs out clothes in a cold wind; a congregation singing a capella in a plain, unpainted church; a couple burying a little girl who died of diphtheria. All that living and dying. All those stories." Many thriving communities once could be found in the Jocassee Gorges.

Several schools existed in the early days in the Jocassee Gorges area. One of the earliest schools was the Laurel Fork School on Laurel Fork Creek. The Horsepasture school (1923-1940) was built to educate area youth (Simmons, 1983). This school was constructed on top of the ridge between Toxaway River and Laurel Fork Creek. The school's first teacher, Dr. Frank Finley, an Easley dentist, was instrumental in the development of the school. Dr. Finley is also well known for his line of bluetick coonhounds, developed in the Jocassee Valley. A school house also once existed near Cane Creek.

In 1916, the Toxaway Dam in North Carolina failed. The flooding down the Toxaway River removed much of the fertile topsoil and deposited rocks and boulders on the family farms. After this flood it was difficult for homesteaders to make a living off the land.

The collective local name "Horsepasture" evolved over time, beginning in Civil War days. Area residents reportedly drove their horses and cattle over the mountain to a broad valley at the forks of Toxaway River and Laurel Fork Creek. Here they successfully hid their livestock from Sherman's advancing army. This area became known as the Horsepasture and the middle fork of the Toxaway River, formerly known as the Green River, was renamed the Horsepasture River. During the "dust bowl era" of the 1920s, livestock from the West were transported by rail to the Horsepasture. Cattle were "free ranged" until grazing conditions improved in the west. Local residents conducted head counts of the cattle for the federal government.

The advent of the railroad brought the textile industry to the upstate. Around the turn of the century, many mountain inhabitants migrated from their isolated homesteads to work in the local town mills. Their land was generally sold or abandoned and auctioned for back taxes. Those who stayed in the Jocassee area primarily resided around Jocassee Valley, which became somewhat of a tourist destination. Others relied on moonshining and the timber industry that evolved.

As the timber industry emerged, partially as a result of the industrial boom in the region (Bloomer 1997), large timbers and lumber were cut to build factories and construct houses to shelter mill workers. The mountains and foothills of Pickens and Oconee counties provided the timber to satisfy much of those building needs. Another factor contributing to the emerging timber industry was the dwindling timber resources available in northeast forests. Big lumber companies looked to the virgin stands in the South for new sources of timber and began to purchase large tracts of mountain land. This would become the source of timber to supply both the local market and the nation's timber demand. These early purchases by large timber companies were the beginning of the land acquisitions that eventually led to what we now refer to as the Jocassee Gorges.

Many timber companies have held title to this property. Saluda River Lumber Co., Montvale Lumber Company, Southern Lumber Company and Carolina Timber Company were some of the owners of the Horsepasture property. The more recent owners were Appalachian Forest Corporation, Poinsett Lumber Company and Crescent Resources, Inc. Appalachian Forest Corporation built a logging railroad into the Eastatoee Creek area for the purpose of shipping harvested logs from the mountains to the sawmills in Pickens. The railroad followed the easiest grade into the coves and hollows of the property. The company's primary interest was to harvest yellow poplar and oak timber that grew in the mountain coves and mid slopes of these rugged hills. Often times the railroad bed was constructed next to the stream bed itself. Horses were used to skid the logs downhill to the rails. The logs were then loaded on rail cars and shipped to Pickens where they were sawed into lumber. Today, remnants of the old railroad system (grades and railroad iron) are evident along some of the stream beds.

Poinsett Lumber Company, a subsidiary of Singer Sewing Machine Company, took possession of the land around 1939 and abandoned the railroad system. Poinsett constructed roads into the mountains and hauled the logs out on trucks to its Pickens mill. Hardwood lumber was used to build sewing machine cabinets. Singer's timber operation continued for 24 years. At the end of its ownership, Poinsett had completed one rotation and had begun to harvest the timber a second time.

In 1963, Duke Power Company (a Duke Energy Company, or DEC) formed Carolina Land and Timber Company, which purchased an 83,400-acre tract of land in the Horsepasture area from Singer Corporation and private landowners. Duke Power Company (DPC) announced construction of the Keowee Toxaway Project on January 2, 1965, and began development in 1967. The construction resulted in the formation of 18,400-acre Lake Keowee and 7,500-acre Lake Jocassee.

Carolina Land and Timber became Crescent Land and Timber Company (currently Crescent Resources, Inc., a Duke Energy Company) in 1969. Crescent Resources has managed the Jocassee property since that time. Similar to previous timber companies, Crescent's goal was to generate income from commercial timber harvest. Under Crescent's management consideration was given to social and environmental concerns for the first time. Crescent Resources continued to harvest timber and began reforestation efforts to meet future forest products needs.

In December 1964, the South Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (currently the SCDNR) negotiated a formal agreement with Duke Power Company and Crescent Resources Inc. (CRI) to include the lands of Jocassee Gorges in the department's Game Management Area Program (currently WMA Program). Although past timber companies had allowed access to hunting and fishing, this landmark agreement established formal public access.

The agreement also led to more intensive wildlife management programs. A SCDNR wildlife biologist was assigned to the area in 1965. Deer and wild turkey stockings began that year. Seventy-five deer from South Carolina's coastal plain counties were stocked in the Horsepasture over a four-year period. Four turkey hens were released in 1965. Additional wild turkey stockings (25 birds) were completed in the 1970s.

Fish management efforts in Jocassee Gorges streams date back at least to the 1930s when the Chief Game Warden for South Carolina managed trout stocking from the Cleveland State Trout Hatchery, Table Rock State Hatchery, and Walhalla National Fish Hatchery (SCDNR, 1935-1962). A trout stocking program during this period was necessary to provide fishing opportunities following the stream habitat devastation caused by logging and public access. Jocassee Gorges stream monitoring efforts began in 1965 with the hiring of the first area SCDNR fishery biologist. Fish habitat and populations were investigated and improved. Trout stocking efforts continued with a higher level of monitoring and improvement of techniques. In 1966, some of the first instream habitat improvement structures were placed in Little Eastatoee Creek, on Duke Property.

Biologists have long recognized the tremendous biodiversity of plant and animal life in the Jocassee Gorges area. They have conducted preliminary surveys of plant and animal communities and have documented the occurrence of rare, threatened and endangered elements. Eastatoee Gorge Heritage Preserve (374 acres) was transferred from Duke Power Company to the SCDNR in 1979 in recognition of the extremely diverse flora occurring there.

Those participating in hunting, fishing, hiking, nature observation and other forms of outdoor activity have benefitted greatly from wildlife, fisheries and law enforcement efforts conducted under the WMA Program. The WMA Program on the Jocassee land over the past 34 years has served as a catalyst for a very positive cooperative working relationship between SCDNR, DPC, and CRI (Van Lear et al., 1994; and Van Lear et al. 1996). This positive relationship fostered the Jocassee Gorges land acquisition project for the state of South Carolina.

B. Jocassee Gorges Project Description

The Jocassee Gorges project in South Carolina encompasses approximately 42,500 acres. Approximately 4,000 acres along the western portion of the property (Tater Hill and upper Howard Creek parcels) will be purchased later and managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). In addition, approximately 6,500 acres will be placed under a conservation easement granted to the SCDNR. It is anticipated that this property will continue to be managed by DPC under consultation with the SCDNR, and it will remain under the Wildlife Management Area Program. While the SCDNR will be involved in the management of the aforementioned properties, this conceptual management plan more specifically addresses the remaining 32,000 acres purchased by The Conservation Fund and the State of South Carolina and the 1,000-acre Laurel Fork tract purchased under the Heritage Trust Program.

The property is described as having a western boundary that approximates the Toxaway River drainage in northern Oconee County to a common eastern boundary adjoining the Greenville Water System and Table Rock State Park in Pickens County. The northern boundary is the North Carolina-South Carolina state line. On the southern boundary the property is situated north of Highway 11. A map delineating the property acquisition is presented (Appendix B-1 -Map of Jocassee Gorges Property).

C. Management Plan Development

The SCDNR has been involved with managing the natural resources of the Jocassee Gorges over recent decades. In 1998, SCDNR will assume ownership of approximately 24,000 acres of the property and is therefore developing more comprehensive plans for protection and management. The remaining 8,000 acres are scheduled to come into state ownership by the end of 1999. In developing this plan, the SCDNR has initiated formation of partnerships with other state and federal resource agencies, universities, conservation organizations and civic groups. Additionally, SCDNR is holding a series of public meetings or forums at which interested citizens can voice their opinions on management of Jocassee Gorges. Periodic public meetings to evaluate how well the plan is working are planned for the future. Also, written and electronically transmitted (e-mail) comments have been received from numerous individuals and groups and are being considered in the planning process. Through historical management experience, formation of partnerships, and solicitation of public opinion, the SCDNR is developing management strategies for the property.

The Jocassee Gorges management plan is a general, conceptual statement of how the SCDNR will manage the Jocassee Gorges when it is acquired from DEC and CRI. Management of the Jocassee Gorges will require a system of "adaptive management" to maintain the property in a state compatible with both primary and secondary management objectives. The adaptive management approach will involve implementation, monitoring and research, review, and revision when necessary. Therefore, the management plan is an "elastic" plan that will continually evolve. Routine revisions and updates to the plan will be necessary to reflect changes in resource protection/management needs, and to address public access and other issues. The plan is conceptual because of the numerous management-related variables that exist. For example, development of management direction for many specific uses, such as forest management, will require intensive planning to meet management objectives. Yet in some areas, this plan specifically addresses short-term management policies. An example is the interim road access plan presented. Initially, this plan allows for the same (status quo)opportunities as in the past in areas of public access for traditional activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, camping, mountain biking, all terrain vehicles (ATV) access, and wildlife viewing. More specific management plans or guidelines will be developed as supplements to this document that will address issues such as detailed forest management, Best Management Practice Guidelines, and potential development of additional recreational services.

D. Plan Implementation and Management

The SCDNR's Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries will lead management planning and plan implementation under the supervision of the division's Deputy Director and with oversight from the SCDNR Director and Board. The management team will also be responsible for coordination with other divisions of the SCDNR, other state and federal resource agencies, university and academic professionals, and various organizations, interest groups, and the general public.

E. Resource Description

Physical Characteristics


The Jocassee Gorges, situated in the Blue Ridge province, comprise a series of intermontane valleys flanked by steep northeast-trending mountain ridges. South Carolina's portion of the Blue Ridge is 90 miles long and 25 to 30 miles wide, spanning Oconee County and extending eastward into Greenville County. Topographically, the Chattooga Ridge is a narrow transition about 6 miles wide that separates the Blue Ridge province's rugged southeast flank from the rolling hills of the Piedmont (from the French word meaning "foot of the mountain").

Geologically, the Jocassee Gorges erode two tectonic provinces in South Carolina: the Blue Ridge and the Inner Piedmont (including the Chauga belt, Walhalla nappe, and Six Mile nappe). The Brevard fault zone, a regional northeast-striking structure, separates the two tectonic provinces and can be traced 300 km along the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains from Alabama to Virginia. Many of the area's northeast-trending mountain ridges are also structurally oriented features, related to the Blue Ridge-Inner Piedmont thrusting that resulted from at least three (continent-to-continent) collisions. Rocks of the Jocassee Gorges are metamorphosed marine and volcanic rock, known as schist and gneiss (pronounced nice) and are part of the southern Appalachian metamorphic core. These rocks are folded, twisted, and squeezed together and provide stark evidence of the area's 1.1 billion years of geologic history.

The end result of the erosion is magnificent vistas like Jumping Off Rock and Sassafras Mountain and gorges harboring waterfalls and cascades such as Laurel Fork Falls, Whitewater Falls, and Eastatoee Gorge. The geology combined with mild temperatures and the highest average annual rainfall in the eastern United States supports a unique diversity of plant and animal life and an ecosystem for rare flora and fauna.


The soils of Jocassee Gorges are diverse. The most dominant soil association on the Jocassee Gorges property is the Ashe-Saluda-Stony land association. This association is dominant on all of the Pickens County portion of the property with the exception of the Lake Jocassee drainage and the "high peaks and ridges" areas (north of Camp Adger). This association is described as excessively to well-drained, strongly sloping to very steep soils that have a loamy sub-soil and are moderately deep or shallow to weathered rock on mountains. About 31 percent, 30 percent, and 18 percent of the association are made up of Ashe soils, Saluda soils, and Stony land, respectively. The rest is less extensive soils. This association has an average slope of about 60 percent. The soils formed mainly in granite weathered material with a high content of gneiss and quartz.

Most of that portion of Jocassee Gorges in the Lake Jocassee drainage (Pickens side) and the high peaks and ridge areas around Sassafras Mountain, Camp Adger and Emory Gap are characterized by the Edneyville-Porters-Hayesville association. Soils in this association are best described as being well-drained, strongly sloping to very steep soils and having a loamy subsoil and being moderately deep or deep to weathered rock on mountains. About 33 percent, 23 percent and 12 percent of the association are composed of Edneyville, Porters and Hayesville soils, respectively. The rest is made up of less extensive soils. These soils formed in material weathered from granite and gneiss in a cool climate characterized by abundant rainfall. Soils in this association are generally most suited for forests.

Along the flood plains of larger streams of the Toxaway, Eastatoee and Laurel Fork, the Toccoa-Chewacla association is found. These are well-drained to somewhat poorly drained, nearly level soils that are dominantly loamy throughout and are subject to flooding. Cherokee Indians and European settlers located close to these fertile river valley soils. This soil association is well suited to row crops, pasture and timber production. Some of the largest trees on Jocassee Gorges property can be found in these fertile areas that were once tended as fields.

The Oconee County portion of Jocassee Gorges including Crossroads Mountain and a large part of the Musterground maintains the Talladega-Madison (high phases) association. These are excessively drained soils on narrow ridges and on steep to very steep, broken slopes, and well- drained soils on broad ridgetops and more gentle slopes. These soils formed in material derived mainly from schist and phyllite. Growth of trees in this association is slower and windthrow is a potential hazard. Gently sloping terrain with Madison soils can be productive for grain crops, row crops, etc.

Other soils in the Musterground area include Hayesville-Cecil-Halewood association, Porters-Halewood association, Ashe-Hayesville-Cecil-Halewood association and Congaree-Mixed alluvial land association.


The main drainages in the Jocassee Gorges property are Eastatoee Creek to the east, Cane Creek in the center, and the Toxaway River (now Lake Jocassee) to the west. These systems flow generally to the south and southwest and drain into the Savannah River Basin. On the very eastern boundary is the Oolenoy River, which flows to the south and then to the east, into the Saluda River Basin. In this region, the annual precipitation averages about 67 inches (SCDNR-South Carolina State Climatology Office, 1998). As a result of this high precipitation, stream flow is relatively high, with an average flow of 3.3 cubic feet per second per square mile (Johnson et. al. 1968). The steep terrain produces stream gradients as high as 250 feet per mile in some areas (Bloxham, 1979). Surface fractures in the igneous and metamorphic rock provide channels for runoff, and consequently stream channels are often angular and drainage patterns are often rectangular (Acker and Hatcher, 1970). The fractures also provide avenues for ground water flow and storage; the crystalline rock aquifers that they feed contribute relatively large quantities of ground water to the streamflow (SC Water Resources Commission, 1983). In general, the steep terrain and semipermeable soils in the area cause rainfall to rapidly run off into stream channels, and, as a result, streams show rapidly fluctuating flows dependent on rainfall but have well-sustained base flows because of substantial ground water discharge (SC Water Resources Commission, 1983).

Approximately 88 miles of perennial streams exist on the Jocassee Gorges Property (Appendix-Table A-4). The coldwater streams on Jocassee Gorges are very infertile (oligotrophic) with low water hardness and alkalinity (<15 mg/l)(Archer, 1967). Maximum summer temperatures are generally less than 75 oF. Minimum winter stream temperatures can approach 35 oF. Stream substrate varies considerably and appears most related to past disturbances in the watersheds and stream gradient. Riparian areas generally maintain hardwood overstory canopies. Riparian understory vegetation is dominated by mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), and rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum).


The archaeological resources of the Jocassee Gorges are largely unknown, although approximately a dozen significant archaeological sites are recorded in the boundaries of the property. This area was the homeland of the Lower Cherokee Indians. Some of the most significant historical and archaeological sites (for example, Keowee Village and Fort Prince George) were inundated during the construction of the Keowee Toxaway Project. However, prior to inundation, the sites were carefully studied and extensive material was removed and catalogued. A major display related to this work is provided at Keowee-Toxaway State Park. An archaeological inventory of Jocassee Gorges is needed.

Access and Roads

Most access roads on the property were constructed to meet timbering needs. Some roads, however, have also served and been maintained to provide public access to the property. Approximately 138 miles of forest access roads exist on the property, not including abandoned forest access roads that have substantially revegetated over time. Approximately 70 miles of these roads have previously been used seasonally for public access. The majority of forest access roads have overhead tree canopies. Generally, primary public access roads have been maintained annually (by scraping, limited gravelling), while barricaded or gated roads lie in various conditions ranging from well vegetated to situations where mineral soils are exposed. Most of the roads on the Jocassee Gorges property are in need of maintenance. Road upgrade and maintenance represent the most immediate challenge identified on the property.

Access points to the Jocassee Gorges property are located off Highway 178 for the Horsepasture and Camp Adger areas. Access to Cane Creek is available off Cleo Chapman road (County road 143 off Highway 11). Developed access is available at three state parks that adjoin Jocassee Gorges. These parks include Devil's Fork State Park, Keowee Toxaway State Park, and Table Rock State Park.

Flora and Fauna

Forest Description

The Jocassee Gorges forests maintain a diverse assemblage of tree species and forest types, from oak-hickory forests to mixed pine-hardwood stands, and natural and planted stands of white pine (Pinus strobus). Some tree species found on Jocassee Gorges include white oak (Quercus alba), red oak (Quercus rubra and Quercus falcata), black oak (Quercus veluntina), scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea), chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), maple (Acer rubrum), poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), hemlock (Tsuga sp.), short leaf pine (Pinus echinata), Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana), pitch pine (Pinus rigida), Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens), and loblolly (Pinus taeda). The forest on Jocassee Gorges has been intensively logged. Many areas on the property have been logged multiple times. According to CRI timber stand records, since 1964, of the 32,000 acres in Jocassee Gorges, 6,558 acres (21 percent) have been clearcut and 16,359 acres (51 percent) have been selectively harvested. An addittional 1,100 acres (3 percent) of loggable land has remained uncut. Areas not logged by CRI because of their being not loggable or in a preservation (water and aesthetic protection) category represent approximately 25 percent of the property. An active program of reforestation has been conducted on the property and has been accomplished through both natural reforestation and planting.

Aquatic Insects

The Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT; mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly, respectively) faunas of the southern Appalachian Mountains are rich in species, including many endemic species. The species richness is a result of unique geological, climatological and hydrological features of the region. At least 32 species of aquatic insects in the Jocassee Gorges are rarely documented elsewhere and appear to be restricted to cold, clear mountain streams with relatively little sediment or other types of pollution (Morse et al., 1989). One group of freshwater insects that has been used extensively in water pollution assessments is the caddisflies. There are 114 species of caddisflies that have been identified in the Lake Jocassee watershed. Of these five species are found only on Jocassee Gorges property (Floyd et al. 1997). Protection of these fauna and their use by humans for recreation and water quality assessment will require that streams not be impacted by further degradation from sediments and other pollutants and that natural plant food resources (trees and other riparian vegetation) be maintained.

Stream biota in the Jocassee Gorges warrant extensive study, especially freshwater mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, and true flies. Systematic investigations should be conducted in Jocassee Gorges streams to assess the community composition and distribution of these insects.

Data is not known to exist describing terrestrial insects in Jocassee Gorges. This is an area where survey work is needed.

Plants and Nongame Animals

The gorges produce a variety of habitats because of the extremely high levels of precipitation, the variety of acidic and calcareous substrates, and the steep topography. Particularly significant is the presence of plant species more typical of distant ecosystems (e.g. northern temperate forests and tropical forests) not found in the Carolinas today (Billings and Anderson, 1966).

These embayment gorges produce unique habitats for plants of both the cool, temperate forests, meadows, and seeps from the north and habitats more typical of the warm tropics to the south. Such species as sweet birch, gallberry or mountain mint are very common occurrences in the central and northern Appalachians but are considered rare in South Carolina because they are at or near their extreme southern terminus. Just as important has been the realization that the abundance and diversity of these plant species are indicative of very specialized and unique sets of micro-habitats (Billings and Anderson, 1966). These micro-habitats are particularly abundant in the Jocassee Gorges region. Over great stretches of geologic time, these micro-habitats have allowed for an exceptional variety of disjuncts, peripherals, and even endemics to be tucked away in their cooler, more moist ravines and coves so atypical of much of the present-day Southeast climate and landscape. Thus, at first glance, many of these species when considered as individual occurrences may not seem to be of great biological significance. But, if one evaluates their overall population status relative to the totality of all such species occurrences and their respective micro-habitats, the overwhelming professional consensus is that these gorges are indeed extraordinary.

To summarize, while not necessarily rare in their overall geographic distribution for North America or even South America, these species in their great abundance and diversity -- endemics, disjuncts and peripherals -- all together act as indicators of sites of high biodiversity and unique environmental conditions. Paleo-botanical and geological evidence suggests that the protected coves, ravines and ridges of the Southern Appalachian mountains, having escaped the direct effects of glaciation, have functioned for more than 200 million years as migration corridors for species from both more northerly and southerly environments (Delcourt, 1985). The presence of these species is indicative of habitats that are important refugia for numerous species of plants and animals across the entire phylogenetic spectrum from fungi to amphibians (Bruce, 1965; Cooper and Harden, 1970; and Delcourt, 1985).

A list of species of "special concern" found in the Jocassee Gorges is listed in Appendix-Table A-5. With additional survey, it is possible that this list will be expanded or reduced.

Fish Populations

Stream fish communities within the Jocassee Gorges are typically very low in species diversity as is typical of high gradient Southern Appalachian streams. Physical barriers to upstream fish migrations (waterfalls) combined with harsh habitat conditions generally preclude a diversity of nongame fishes in the headwater reaches of mountain streams. In the absence of abundant nongame fish competition, however, often allopatric trout populations thrive. One remote tributary stream on the property maintains a self-sustaining population of Eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), a state species of concern. The genetic identity of this population has previously been described (Guffey 1995). Several other streams on the property maintain adequate brook trout habitat conditions but would require fish population renovations and/or stocking to reclaim the species. The most abundant fish species in headwater streams is the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Wild rainbow trout represent a unique and valuable resource to South Carolina. In 1984, the SCDNR Board adopted a departmental policy calling for "no net loss" of trout habitat in South Carolina. The trout found in Jocassee area streams have been the key lever necessary to achieve protective state classifications for streams and rivers. The Eastatoee and all tributaries, Whitewater River, Laurel Fork Creek, and Devil's Fork Creek (portions of tributaries) are classified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) as "Outstanding Resource Waters" (ORW) (SCDHEC, 1993). The remaining streams are designated "Trout Natural" (TN), except for lower Eastatoee which is designated "Trout Put-Grow-Take" (TPGT). Lake Jocassee is also TPGT. Another species of special concern found in Jocassee streams is the blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus).

Game Animals

The properties contain populations of a number of wildlife species including black bears (Ursus americanus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), woodcock (Philohela minor), rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus and Sylvilagus transitionalis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis and Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus), bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), bobcats (Lynx rufus), various waterfowl species, beavers (Castor canadensis), muskrats (Odatra zibethica), foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus and Vulpes vulpes), opossums (Didelphis marsupialis), skunks (Mephitus mephitus and Spilogale putorius), coyotes (Canis latrins), ground hogs (Marmota monax), feral hogs (Sus scrofa), river otters (Lutra canadensis), and mink (Mustela vison). White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, black bears and raccoons are the wildlife species that receive more interest from hunters. The Jocassee Gorges represent a major portion of quality black bear habitat in the state. Good populations of wild turkey and white-tailed deer are also found.