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The Alabama State Lands Division, through its property management program, accomplished a number of property management activities relating to state-owned land. Many of these accomplishments are related to trust lands managed for specific purposes.
Generation of Revenue
During fiscal year 2002-2003 the State Lands Division’s asset management program generated more than $288 million dollars in receipts for beneficiary agencies. Cumulative State Lands Division efforts related to offshore natural gas development since 1981 have netted $2.1 billion to the Alabama Trust Fund. Since its inception, the Forever Wild Trust Fund has received $69 million in income from a percentage of the interest earned from offshore royalties. Income allocated to Forever Wild during fiscal year 2002-2003 amounted to $11.6 million.
*Figure includes royalty adjustments and settlements in the amount of $26,957,884.09
Division Personnel and Operations
The SLD performed its responsibilities in FY 2002-2003 with a work force of thirty-five (35) full-time merit system employees and two (2) contract employees. The Administrative Section is staffed with the State Lands Director and eight merit personnel. The Natural Heritage Section is staffed with seven merit personnel. The Field Inspection Section is staffed with five merit personnel. The Coastal Section is staffed with seven merit personnel. The Weeks Bay Reserve (also Coastal Section) is staffed with five merit personnel and two (2) contract personnel. The Wehle Nature Center is staffed with two merit personnel. The SLD also employs part time and seasonal laborers. The cost of operating the division during fiscal year 2002-2003 was $7,693,543 out of a budget allocation of $7,742,019.
State Lands Division Educational Facilities
Wehle Nature Center at Midway (Bullock County)
The Wehle Nature Center at Midway hosted 38 environmental education and outdoor recreation programs. The list of programs includes a Bird Awareness Day, public fishing days, Boy Scout meetings, garden club and church group tours and numerous school programs.
Wehle Nature Center at Blakeley (Baldwin County)
The Wehle Nature Center at Blakeley hosted a facility dedication event, a Forever Wild Land Trust Board meeting, a Natural Resource Trustee council meeting, a Bird Awareness Day and numerous meetings of local environmental and natural resource organizations and agencies. Additionally, the center hosts weekend environmental education and outdoor recreation programs.
Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (Baldwin County)
The Weeks Bay Reserve conducted 132 environmental education programs through its staff and educators from other division, agencies and institutions. The list of programs includes 100 education programs for K-12 school children, five lectures/programs for adult education sessions, ten Alabama Water Watch activities, two boat courses with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, seven guest lecturers, one kids fishing day, one Weeks Bay Day, three Master Gardener classes, three workshops on polluted runoff, on-site treatment facilities, conservation easements and an assortment of guided tours, speaking engagements and drop-in visitors.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment Program
State Lands Division participated in establishment of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) program. Participation included attending and planning Natural Resource Trustee council meetings and receiving formal training for NRDA implementation.