To successfully manage our valued resources the following efforts are being undertaken:
Encouraging a healthy natural community which increases both plant and wildlife diversity and strengthen the communal eco-system of each is the goal of our forestry management efforts.
Professional forestry management is critical in managing the division’s natural resources including:
In partnership with Wildlife Resource Division and USDA Wildlife Services, State Parks & Historic Sites has been managing deer populations since 2003. Our primary method of deer reduction is to enlist the use of hunters during managed quota hunts.
In coordination with forestry management and deer population control, prescribed fire is a major tool in both habitat health and diversification of species.
In 2006, through an arrangement with the Vegetative Management Services Section of Georgia Power, the Division arranged a contract that provides access to arborist, tree crews, emergency equipment and certified operators 24 hours a day in any location within the state. This service is funded through timber revenue.
Two significant restoration grants funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation include:
This project was designed to attract birds, especially Sand Hill Cranes, to overnight in a protected habitat area on their traditional migrating routes. The project created a 15-acre seasonally inundated impoundment with gated water controls that allow park staff to control water levels at times of flooding.
This project began in 2005. The five sites were identified. Slash or plantation type pine stands were removed and , planting containerized long leaf pine seedlings and wire grass to restore a traditional long leaf-wiregrass community.
The USDA, Wildlife Services provides many wildlife management services through an annual contractual agreement. Wildlife Services has worked with our Division as a critical team member in our Red Top Mountain deer reduction program. Additional services provided are the lethal control of beavers and impounded waterways and streams which can cause flooding or endanger structures. Many sites require the services of the removal of feral cats, diseased raccoons and pigeons.
Annually, Wildlife Services re-locates 150+ Canada Geese from our swimming beaches, day-use areas and golf courses. The re-location eliminates fecal contaminate issues for swimmers, picnickers, boaters and golfers.
In 2007 Wildlife Services partnered with us to remove wildlife predators that were endangering newly hatched gopher tortoises at Reed Bingham State Park. This work proved very successful in increasing our survival rates to the highest levels on record.