In observance of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 24, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is highlighting some recent Forever Wild Land Trust acquisitions. A signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation, National Public Lands Day is an annual event celebrating public lands in the United States by promoting public recreation and volunteerism on those lands.
Listed below are 11 tracts in 10 counties that have been purchased by Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust for public recreation and conservation efforts in the last year. For a full list of Forever Wild properties visit www.alabamaforeverwild.com and spend National Public Lands Day enjoying Alabama’s public lands.
• Coon Gulf, Jackson Co. (3,225 acres)
• Tannehill Historical State Park, Shelby and Bibb Co. (553 acres)
• Monte Sano State Park, Madison Co. (8.8 acres)
• Red Hills, Monroe Co. (1,786 acres)
• Lauderdale Wildlife Management Area, Lauderdale Co. (571 acres)
• Riverton Community Hunting Area, Colbert Co. (80 acres)
• Pike County Pocosin, Pike Co. (143 acres)
• Freedom Hills Wildlife Management Area, Colbert Co. (160 acres)
• Little River Wildlife Management Area, Cherokee Co. (1,506 acres)
• Barbour Wildlife Management Area, Barbour Co. (2,564 acres)
As hunting season approaches, hunters can also celebrate the Forever Wild Land Trust’s support of Alabama’s public hunting lands program by hunting on a state Wildlife Management Area (WMA). While Alabama’s public hunting lands program continues to lose no-cost lease lands previously made available under the state’s WMA system, Forever Wild has added new public hunting lands at 16 of the state’s 37 WMAs.
Forever Wild directly benefits Alabama’s outdoor enthusiasts through access to public recreational lands and supporting activities such as backpacking, bird-watching, boating, canoeing, camping, field trials, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, mountain biking, nature study and wildlife watching.
Alabamians can also enjoy the indirect benefits of these lands and the ecological services they provide such as clean water, clean air, unique wildlife habitat and general open-space buffering to developed communities and economic development areas.
Most of these public lands are managed as a component of the ADCNR’s State Park system and WMA system. However, many new recreational areas and nature preserves have also been created through the Forever Wild Program including the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center and Weeks Bay Reserve. Today, 88 tracts in 25 counties have been acquired since 1992 providing more than 226,000 acres of public lands.
To learn more about the recreational and volunteer opportunities on Forever Wild lands, or to learn more about the administration of Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust, visit www.alabamaforeverwild.com or call the Alabama State Lands Division at 334-242-3484.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.