Economy and Land Use

The Escatawpa River Watershed study area (the area examined by the National Park Service for possible inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Rivers program) contains no public lands. Approximately 60 percent of the land is owned and managed by forest product companies. Much of the remaining 40 percent is under long-term lease to the forest product industry. (NPS)

In the early ’80s International Paper Company and Scott Paper Company were the single largest landowners across the entire Escatawpa Basin. The timber industry also accounted for the most significant economic thrust throughout the area. Corporate policies at that time management policies that protected a minimum of 200 feet along the riverbank from timber harvest. The rationale for this policy was that the predominant species (hardwoods) within the type terrain would not make harvest economically beneficial, and also a desire to preserve the aesthetic character of the Escatawpa.