23,000 Acres Dedicated as Heritage Preserves
Governor Perdue has signed Executive Orders dedicating more than 23,000 acres of state land at five sites as Heritage Preserves, thus ensuring that these state parks, historic sites, wildlife management areas and natural areas will be available to present and future generations for a wide variety of recreational activities and conservation purposes. The properties that received this designation include Big Dukes Pond Natural Area, Buck Shoals River Park, Chickasawhatchee Wildlife Management Area, Hardman Farm State Historic Site, and Standing Boy Creek State Park.
The Heritage Trust Act of 1975, allows that the Governor may dedicate any state-owned property as a Heritage Preserve. “An effective way of protecting Georgia’s quality-of-life is by protecting the high quality habitats and public recreation sites that we enjoy and hold dear,” said Governor Perdue. “It is vital that these important public places retain all of their natural, historic, and recreational values for Georgians today and tomorrow.”
“We welcome these designations as a means of protecting important properties,” said Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Lonice C. Barrett. “These designations ensure that the properties will be conserved for wildlife habitat management, scientific research, environmental education, historic preservation, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits.”
The five areas that received this protective status have been dedicated as follows:
Big Dukes Pond Natural Area was dedicated for the primary purpose of ecosystem conservation. This 1,220-acre property is located in Jenkins County, about six miles northwest of Millen and is a sensitive area that is home to several rare species. Big Dukes Pond Natural Area also represents one of the State’s better examples of a “Carolina bay” wetland system.
Buck Shoals River Park was dedicated primarily for its recreational, natural, and cultural values. This 543-acre property is located in White County, about six miles east of Cleveland and is situated along the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River.
Chickasawhatchee Wildlife Management was dedicated for conservation of natural resources for the primary purposes of habitat management, hunting, fishing, birding, nature observation, education and other wildlife-related activities. This 19,704-acre property is located in the three Georgia counties of Baker, Calhoun, and Dougherty, about ten miles south of Albany. Active restoration efforts, including prescribed burning, are returning this property to its natural condition as a native longleaf pine-wiregrass forest system.
Hardman Farm State Historic Site was dedicated to protect cultural, natural, and recreational resources. This 173-acre property is located in White County, about six miles north of Cleveland along the Chattahoochee River and sits very close to Unicoi State Park and Smithgall Woods Conservation Area.
Standing Boy Creek State Park was dedicated to protect the recreational, natural and cultural values on site. This 1,579-acre property is located in Muscogee County, about six miles north west of Columbus and is situated along the Chattahoochee River.
For more information on these sites, check the State Parks Guide as well the official Hunting Regulations and Fishing Regulations, all produced by the Department of Natural Resources.