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The Official Publication of the Georgia Wildlife Federation
VOLUME 27, NUMBER 2 August 2017
Keeping GEORGIA Wild
Field to Fork is just one of the ways GWF promotes outdoor recreation to the public. Page 4.
GWF strives to promote the best of the hunting and ﬁshing community. Page 6.
Advocacy is a critical part of maintaining healthy wildlife environments. Page 8
GWF headquarters is a littleknown haven for educators, businesses, and the local community. Pages 12 and 14.
What makes Mill Creek Nature Center so special? Find out from GWF volunteer John Deitsch. Page 10.
Be on the lookout for the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act. This important legislation could bring in much-needed funding for the management of Georgia’s wildlife and wild places, and increase opportunities for us to enjoy it all. Page 2. Credits: Wood Duck, Hank Ohme
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PRESIDENT’S COLUMN: So Much Work to Do!
e Call ® BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS Chairman: Randy Young, Fayetteville Vice Chairman: Brian Mask, Covington Secretary: Joy Campbell, Folkston Treasurer: Don E. Chandler, Atlanta Immediate Past Chair: Matt Nichols, Madison DISTRICT DIRECTORS District 1: Jamey Hulsey, Marietta District 2: Mickey Brown, Atlanta District 3: Tom Jones, Atlanta District 4: Jeﬀ Young, Monroe District 5: omas Kephart, Covington District 6: David Haire, Milner District 7: Curtis Jenkins, Forsyth District 8: Vacant District 9: Tommy Gregors, Leesburg District 10: Vacant District 11: Vacant District 12: Carl Hall, Vidalia DIRECTORS AT LARGE Josh Burnette, Marietta Chris Gray, Buford Daryl Ingram, Acworth James Manley, Dacula Kevin McKinstry, Tuscaloosa, AL Seth Millican, Kennesaw Gordon Reynolds, Loganville Joel Vinson, Forsyth Steve Wrigley, Watkinsville GEORGIA WILDLIFE FEDERATION STAFF President and CEO: Mike Worley Sportsmen’s Programs Coordinator: Bonnie Eisterhold Georgia R3 Coordinator: Charles Evans Executive Assistant: Becky Harris Conservation and Outreach Manager: DeAnna Harris Facilities Specialist: Simwone Jordan MCNC Program Manager: Hank Ohme Sportsmen’s Programs: Doug Rithmire Conservation Issues Coordinator: Gina Rogers Wildlife Technician & Volunteer Coordinator: Adam Schiavone Sportsmen’s Programs Manager: Sam Stowe THE CALL STAFF Editor: DeAnna Harris Contributing Authors: John Deitsch, Gina Rogers, Mike Worley, Charles Evans Photography: Hank Ohme, John Deitsch, Randy Gross, DeAnna Harris, Daniel Cliburn, Charles Evans, Olin Batchelor, Cydnie Taylor-Ridling Layout: DeAnna Harris e Call is published quarterly by the Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF), a not-for-profit corporation at 11600 Hazelbrand Rd., Covington, GA 30014. All editorial and subscription correspondence should be mailed to this address. Contributions to the content of this newsletter from members and readers are welcomed and encouraged, but all manuscripts submitted are subject to editing. ird-class postage paid at Covington, GA 30014. Annual membership dues to GWF begin at $35, which includes a subscription to e Call newsletter. Contact us at 770-787-7887 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit us on the web at www.gwf.org.c) 2017 Georgia Wildlife Federation
eorgia abounds in natural wonders. We can paddle the Okefenokee or climb Yonah. We can stand on the rim of Providence Canyon and think how mankind shapes our planet. We can walk the pristine beaches of Ossabaw. You can still catch a native brook trout in a cold headwater stream in North Georgia and you can catch speckled trout in Georgia’s coastal waters. A hunter can take a bobwhite quail or a whitetail deer across most of Georgia. We have outdoor riches to last a lifetime. With these blessings, though, come some significant responsibilities. Our diverse geography leads us to being one of the most biologically diverse states in the country. e World Wildlife Fund estimates we have only half of the numbers of animals, worldwide, as we did in 1970. ough these numbers are in dispute in some quarters, what remains consistent in every treatise/report/commentary is the world’s wildlife is in trouble. Bringing that discussion closer to home, according to our State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), approximately 320 of our native species are state or federally protected. e SWAP is devoted almost exclusively to protecting our non-game species. e SWAP identifies 290 plants and 349 animal species as high priorities for conservation. More than 100 species that call Georgia home are petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Almost all of those can be tied to habitat degradation and loss. At the founding of Georgia Wildlife Federation 81 years ago, commercial hunting of our wildlife had led to devastating reductions in our game animals. rough the eﬀorts of GWF, the National Wildlife Federation, regulatory agencies and committed hunters and anglers we have implemented professional, science-based management of these resources. Tools like our hunting/fishing regulations, the implementation of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation, and funding through federal excise taxes on our hunting and fishing gear have brought our game animal populations back to health…a spectacular success! But that spectacular success has only transferred slightly to our non-game wildlife. Few of our wildlife species in trouble today are threatened by overharvesting. e threats today are more insidious, and in some ways more diﬃcult. Habitat loss and habitat quality are the greatest threats. Development of long term, sustainable management plans is critical to saving our wildlife, but the crucial component is almost always habitat.
So what do we do? Georgia Wildlife Federation is working on two initiatives that have the potential for being transformative for our state’s natural heritage and its future. On the state level, we are working in partnership with other conservation
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organizations on the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act (GOSA). In Washington DC, we are working in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation on passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA). e Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act was introduced in the 2017 Georgia General Assembly. A true partnership exists between some of Georgia’s leading conservation organizations in promoting GOSA. ose partners, including Georgia Wildlife Federation, e Georgia Conservancy, e Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Lands, Park Pride and e Conservation Fund, are committed to securing dedicated funding for acquiring new public lands to protect and conserve those critical habitats. All of this is accomplished without any new taxes or fees. It simply dedicates funds that are already coming into the state coﬀers. Legislative sponsors of GOSA, Rep. Sam Watson, Rep. Jon Burns, Rep. Lynn Smith, Rep. Chad Nimmer and Rep. Spencer Frye, are real heroes of conservation. HB 332 is the enabling legislation that provides the mechanism for GOSA, and HR 238 is the amendment to Georgia’s constitution that will allow the funds to be dedicated and protected for the future. As currently written, the eﬀort is estimated to generate $30 to $40 million annually for protecting Georgia’s waters, wildlife and habitats. ese eﬀorts acknowledge that hunting and fishing bring an estimated $4 billion into Georgia’s economy every year, and the outdoor recreation industry contributes approximately $27 billion in economic impact. e Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is an initiative that will provide funding for supporting the state wildlife action plans across the nation. It will do for nongame species what the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (frequently just referred to as the PittmanRobertson Act) has done for our game animals and what the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950 (the
Dingell-Johnson Act) has done for our sport fish populations. RAWA doesn’t impose any new fees or taxes. Funding for RAWA comes from dedicating the funds already being generated from the extraction of oil and gas on federal lands. It is estimated that RAWA would generate in excess of $30 million annually for Georgia’s eﬀorts on non-game species protection and restoration. Why would hunters and anglers care about nongame protection? As we talked about earlier, the primary issue with the troubled critters long-term survival is habitat. Preserving and restoring habitat for non-game provides tremendous support for our game animals and sportfish… and every hunter and angler I know enjoys the outdoor world and ALL the creatures, great and small. We’ll talk more in future issues about both the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act and Restoring America’s Wildlife Act. As I led oﬀ this column, I talked about so much work to do. It is work, though, that means so much to us and to future generations of Georgians. Whether we revel in the buzz of a hummingbird, the smell of bruised sweetshrub leaves, the rise of a brookie to a fly or the snort of a whitetail on a cool autumn morning, OUR generation has a Keeping Georgia Wild, responsibility to continue Mike Worley the conservation work of President & CEO our forebearers. Georgia Wildlife Federation
In this special issue of e Call, we are highlighting GWF programs in the hope that you will join with us to protect and conserve Georgia’s wildlife and the habitats in which they thrive. Our goal is to make it abundantly clear how we can work together — through EDUCATION, ADVOCACY, AND CONSERVATION — to continue the great conservation work that began in our state over 80 years ago. For our sake, and the sake of the next generation, let’s keep striving to KEEP GEORGIA WILD. 3
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FOSTERING Georgiaâ€™s love of the outdoors Whether you hunt, fish, camp, hike, enjoy nature photography or just a simple stroll on your local nature trail, we encourage you to get outdoors and enjoy our beautiful, wild Georgia. For those who want to take part in the outdoors, but lack confidence or knowledge, GWF is ready to come alongside you through two programs: î ˘e Georgia R3
Initiative and Camp Charlie.
Credit: Hank Ohme
Credit: Charles Evans 4
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The Georgia R3 Initiative
Credit: Charles Evans
e Georgia R3 Initiative (GRI) began in December 2015 and was the first truly cooperative eﬀort aimed at recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters at a state level. Part of the strategic approach put in place by the GRI is piloting programs for adult audiences with an interest in hunting, but no avenue to pursue it. In the past, hunting recruitment programs have largely targeted youth. However, it has been suggested that adults may be a more eﬃcient audience since they have decision-making authority, financial resources, transportation, and may currently or one day have children of their own. Two audiences the GRI is currently focusing on are locavores (those eating locally grown food whenever possible), and college students. ere is a large cultural shi happening as more and more people become increasing concerned about the food they are consuming. As a result, they are turning to local, home-grown sources. In response to this change, GRI recruited participants from the Athens Farmer’s Market to harvest their own meat by going deer hunting with crossbows. is pilot Field to Fork program provided Georgia and other states with a successful example of recruiting new hunters. e success of the Field to Fork program led to the next pilot program targeting college students who have never hunted before. When recruiting adult hunters, colleges are an excellent place to start since the recreational activities they adopt oen continue for years to come. e Warnell Learn-to-Hunt program at the University of Georgia started with a squirrel hunt and proved to be successful. However, true outcomes will be measured with time. To ensure the program is sustained, we have appointed student Hunt Coordinators to e Wildlife Society and National Wild Turkey Federation student chapters at UGA. To expand these programs into other areas of Georgia, we need your help. If you have interest in starting a Field to Fork, college Learn-to-Hunt, or similar program in your area, please contact Charles Evans (email@example.com) or visit www.GWF.org for more information.
Camp Charlie Camp Charlie is a planned weekend of camping and hands-on outdoor activities. e program primarily targets families who would like to experience the outdoors with their children but may lack the knowledge, skill, equipment, and self-confidence to venture very far into the “wilds”. A typical Camp Charlie weekend runs Friday evening through Sunday lunch. As campers arrive, each family is provided equipment including tents, cots, and cookware, and is assigned a mentor to lead them every step of the way. While volunteers prepare Friday evening’s group meal, families learn how to set up their tent, get to know one another, and learn a little about their local habitats and wildlife. Saturday is filled with activities for adults and kids alike such as fishing, campfire cooking, canoeing, wildlife encounters, and orienteering — just to name a few. e day wraps up with an evening of campfire songs and skits. Sunday, it’s all-hands-on-deck to break down camp and pack up. To date, camps have been held at the Okefenokee Swamp in Charlton County, the Wharton Center in Towns County, and the Alcovy Conservation Center in Newton County. GWF is looking for sponsors for our next event. If you are interested in supporting the Camp Charlie program, contact GWF at 770-787-7887 or visit www.GWF.org. Credit: Hank Ohme
A wEEKEND OF fAMILY fUN IN THE gREAT oUTDOORS
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Pursuing The Highest Standards in Outdoor Ethics GWF firmly believes that hunting and fishing are essential tools in wildlife management and that every Georgian has the right to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors. However, with this right comes the responsibility to uphold the highest standard of outdoor ethics and present a positive image to the nonhunting public. GWF strives to do this through programs like Georgia
Hunters for the Hungry, Ranger Hotline, and Hunter Education.
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Georgia Hunters for sthe Hungry a !
Since 1993, hunters have been bringing meat to the tables of those in need through the Georgia Hunters for the Hungry (GHFTH) program. Georgia Wildlife Federation has been a sponsor of GHFTH since it began by assisting in promoting the program and raising funds to pay processors for venison delivered to food banks. To date, an estimated 375,000 pounds of venison have been donated, processed into ground venison, steaks and chops, and delivered to food the state. e program not only assists Georgians in need, but also highlights the banks across of generosity 2 tradition among the hunting community. Kennesaw State student Daniel Lumpkin experienced this first-hand as he followed the GHFTH process from the woods to the food bank. During his interview with processor Drew Copelan from e Meat Shed, Daniel gained new insight into why hunters are so willing to give. “I watched as they ground up and used every part of the animal, turning one deer into about 20 pounds of valuable food,” Lumpkin said. “is is no small thing.” 9 Copelan explained that the hunters who donate part of their meat are people who, for the most part, hunt for their groceries. ey are men and women who are passionate about hunting , that has been a part of their7 families for generations. because it’s a tradition Hunters interested in participating in the GHFTH program can bring field-dressed deer to designated locations during the hunting season. For more details and to find a participating processor near you, visit www.GWF.org.
Georgia Wildlife Federation believes that wildlife is held in the public trust. e law enforcement arm of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources defends this public trust and GWF is honored to provide assistance in any way we can. For this reason, GWF has been a long-standing partner of the Ranger Hotline program. e purpose of the Ranger Hotline program is to encourage sportsmen to report poachers and violators of our state’s game laws. Ranger Hotline is an initiative of the Georgia Natural Resource Foundation (GNRF) and GA DNR Law Enforcement Division. e program began in 1987 under the name Turn in Poachers (TIP). Since its inception, GWF has served on the board and has contributed over half of all funds throughout its history. Working with other Ranger Hotline advisors, GWF continues to raise money and awareness of the need for strong prosecution of wildlife law violators. Poachers rob you of recreational opportunities that you pay for through hunting and fishing license fees. To learn more about how you can play a part in the Ranger Hotline program, visit www.GWF.org.
Hunter Safety Education
GWF has partnered with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to host hunter education classes for over 20 years. Held at the Alcovy Conservation Center in Covington in late summer, and the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry (August and February) in conjunction with GWF’s Buckarama, the course is designed to prepare participants for safe and ethical hunting. e course not only teaches hunting skills and safety practices but also emphasizes the importance of following current regulations and guidelines so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past that led to some game species nearing the brink of extinction. Discussions include the reasoning behind hunting seasons, harvest limits (especially during nesting and mating seasons), the limiting of hunting methods and equipment, “bag” limits, and the importance of fair chase. Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive the certification needed to obtain a Georgia hunting license. For more information, visit www.GWF.org. 7
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Advocating for all who love the outdoors Why does GWF put so much time and energy into advocacy? Because we all share in the responsibility to care for Georgiaâ€™s land, water, and wildlife and it is up to all of us to keep our decisionmakers accountable. GWF assists you in this process by serving as a watchdog at the Capitol during the Georgia General Assembly and communicating important issues to you via two programs: the Georgia Water
Coalition and the Camo Coalition.
Green Heron, Credit: Hank Ohme
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Georgia Water Coalition
e Georgia Water Coalition was formed in 2002 in response to an initiative to privatize water in Georgia. e Georgia Wildlife Federation was a founding member along with Southern Environmental Law Center, Georgia Conservancy, and Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. e Coalition grew and quickly became statewide advocates for Georgia’s water resources. GWC’s first major success came in 2003 with the defeat of legislation which would have allowed for water permit trading and privatization of our state water resources. Fieen years later, the Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) is an even more formidable voice for Georgia’s water with over 240 partner organizations from around the state and the southeast. e membership of the Coalition encompasses conservation organizations, farmers, homeowners and lake associations, business owners, sportsmen’s clubs, professional associations, and religious groups. e Coalition continues to speak out and provide information about the critical importance of prudent statewide water management. e GWC eﬀort benefits all Georgians because it asks our leaders to make responsible decisions about how best to protect our finite water resources, now and in the future. Smart water management is paramount to allowing conservation and economic development to exist side by side. e GWC aims to find and implement sustainable solutions to Georgia’s water challenges that maintain the integrity of Georgia’s natural systems and promote public health, while addressing the needs of municipalities, industry, agriculture, and business. e Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF) has served on the GWC Leadership Team and hosted every GWC Partner meeting since its inception in 2002. We work closely with water advocates and decision-makers from around the state to protect Georgia’s water resources and ensure clean water for healthy fish and wildlife habitat. We have worked with the GWC on many water issues over the years including: removing ATV traﬃc from our streams and rivers; maintaining vegetated buﬀers in our coastal marshes; protecting our groundwater; protecting our freshwater stream buﬀers; regulating large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) that pollute adjacent rivers and streams; promoting drought management to maintain minimum flows in our rivers; advocating for adequate funding for EPD so they can enforce our clean water laws; and protecting our headwaters and cold water trout streams. We also provide staﬀ support for the GWC — Gina Rogers serves as the GWC Director of Operations. To learn more about the Georgia Water Coalition or sign up your business or club as a member, visit www.GWF.org.
GWF’s Camo Coalition began in 1999 with the purpose of enabling sportsmen and women across Georgia to act quickly if there is an issue aﬀecting our land, water, wildlife, or outdoor recreation interests. GWF and the Camo Coalition have always had the ear of legislators, but the eﬀectiveness of the program exploded in 2005 with the addition of an online component allowing members to contact elected oﬃcials via email. Since then, the Camo Coalition has become one of, if not the, most eﬀective conservation tools in the state. Why? Because our members take the time to act on behalf of Georgia’s wildlife and wild places. What makes the Camo Coalition diﬀerent? We aren’t playing politics. We are wading through the legislation and issues that can potentially aﬀect our natural resources. en, guided by research, experience, and sound management principles — NOT POLITICS — we’re presenting the information to you, our members, so that you can make your own, informed decision about how to you would like your elected oﬃcials to weigh in on the matter. Make no mistake — our legislators are listening to us. is was demonstrated clearly during the 2017 Georgia General Assembly amid discussions concerning HB208 and the increased funding it would bring to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Following the Senate Natural Resources Committee meeting on the issue, a legislator not involved in the hearing approached GWF President Mike Worley saying, “I sure wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of you guys!” He was speaking of the overwhelming presence at the meeting from GWF partners, and the clear message in support of the bill coming from Camo Coalition members. But, the Camo Coalition’s work on HB208 isn’t over yet. We will be watching diligently to make sure the money is going to where it is supposed to go. Joining the Camo Coalition is free. We encourage you to sign up at www.camocoalition.org and join with us to keep Georgia wild.
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Protecting Georgia’s WATERs, Wildlife, Forests, and fields When it comes down to it, all of GWF’s work centers around the mission of protecting and conserving Georgia’s wildlife and the habitats in which they thrive. Although much of our time throughout the year is spent on “big picture” issues that impact the entire state, there are two areas that hold a special place in our hearts: Mill Creek Nature Center in Buford and the Alcovy Conservation
Center in Covington.
Credit: Hank Ohme
Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Credit: John Deitsch
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Mill Creek Nature Center
Painted Skimmer, Credit: John Deitsch
Credit: Hank Ohme
Hooded Mergansers, Credit: Hank Ohme
Credit: Olin Batchelor
Credit: John Deitsch
We could try to put into words the way Mill Creek Nature Center has impacted the community, volunteers and thousands of visitors that walk the trails each year, but we think 18-year-old volunteer John Deitsch does it far better than we ever could. John has basically grown up in the wetland, and he is one of a group of dedicated volunteers who weekly do their part to keep this oasis healthy for wildlife and accessible for the public to enjoy. I first encountered Mill Creek Nature Center over six years ago on April 2, 2011. at visit was so engaging and captivating that I have since returned over two hundred times. Every visit is unique in some way. I enjoy volunteering at the nature center, and in addition, there is nowhere I would rather spend a few hours watching and photographing birds and insects. e progress made at Mill Creek Nature Center during the six years I have been visiting and volunteering is astounding. Boardwalks, benches, and signs have been added to improve visitor experience. But for me, as a nature enthusiast, the most exciting progress has been that which has improved the habitat for wildlife. e extensive removal of the invasive Chinese privet has enabled the crippled native river cane to rebound. River cane is the only hostplant for several species of butterflies, such as the Creole Pearlyeye and the Lace-winged Roadside Skipper. When I first began visiting Mill Creek Nature Center, these two species were very rarely seen, but with the recovery of the population of their host plant, I have witnessed a dramatic increase in their abundance. Native plant species are planted every year, increasing wildlife habitat. For example, we have planted milkweed, which is the hostplant for the imperiled Monarch butterfly. One of the highlights of volunteering at Mill Creek Nature Center is the yearly cleaning and monitoring of the eight Wood Duck boxes on the property. e wetlands and creeks are home to a healthy population of these beautiful birds. e breeding Wood Duck population is one of the largest in Gwinnett County. Every year, over 30 ducklings are hatched in the boxes. Even though cleaning the boxes may be tiresome (and smelly) work, the reward of seeing the ducklings in the spring is well worth the eﬀort. e Hooded Merganser also benefits from these duck boxes and have nested there three out of the past four years. Mill Creek Nature Center is one of the few known places in Georgia where this species nests regularly. Another highlight of my volunteer work at Mill Creek Nature Center is maintaining the oﬃcial bird, dragonfly, and butterfly checklists. (ese checklists can be found at www.GWF.org.) I have personally observed over 130 species of birds at the Center, and the total list of birds observed is over 150. e totals for butterflies and dragonflies are 49 and 61 respectively. ese are impressive numbers for an area sandwiched between two interstates and a super-regional mall. But for me, the true treasures of Mill Creek Nature Center are not only my recorded lists of birds and insects but also the beauty and peace which abound within its 88 acres. With its lush green wetlands, gently flowing sandy creeks, and beautiful, tall mature trees, Mill Creek Nature Center provides a respite where visitors can relax and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. In our busy world of honking cars and flashing lights, everyone needs a space to unwind and relax. Mill Creek Nature Center is that John Deitsch, place for me — and over the past six years, it has MCNC Volunteer become my second home.
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Alcovy Conservation Center “e swamp pools swarm with invertebrate life even in winter. e Alcovy itself is clean and unpolluted compared to other Piedmont streams. It is perhaps unique among other Piedmont rivers in the vastness of its swamps, the nature of the swamps, and in having an accessible and central location….Between Monroe and Jackson Lake, the Alcovy provides unexcelled wilderness experience in hiking, boating, hunting, fishing and general natural history….Natural areas, such as the Alcovy bottomlands are important to education in Georgia. Undirected education, such as the boy — swimming hole — cane pole — dog association, can be a very important educational experience. e river swamps have all the attributes of natural outdoor laboratories — all our cities and towns desperately need these areas with an aernoon’s bus ride.” Dr. Charles Wharton, History of Newton County Georgia, 1988, p. 71 Georgia Wildlife Federation moved from Conyers, GA to our home in Covington in 2000. Our headquarters, e Alcovy Conservation Center (ACC), is situated on a 115-acre site with forests, wetlands, meadows, woodland trails and wildlife habitat gardens. e facilities are used to advance the mission of conservation education and habitat protection while providing opportunities for youth and adults to experience the “outdoor laboratories” as described above by Dr. Wharton. To date, these experiences have included amphibian monitoring, bird surveys, native plant restoration and propagation, stream monitoring, numerous Boy Scout projects, and a multitude of meetings and conferences with conservation partners across the state. We want to make sure you know you invited to visit the lush river cane thickets, pawpaw groves, and tupelo swamps at the ACC. Our nature trail and boardwalk is approximately 2 miles in length and takes about an hour and a half to walk at a leisurely pace. As you meander through hardwood forests, tupelo swamps, and old pasture, keep your eyes and ears open for resident wildlife such as fox squirrels, wood ducks, wild turkey, pileated woodpeckers, and bird-voiced treefrogs. GWF’s Alcovy Conservation Center 11600 Hazelbrand Road Covington, GA 30014 Open Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm and on weekends and evenings for special events and rentals.
In addition, GWF owns and maintains just over 16 acres at e Alcovy at East End. Located just oﬀ of Hwy 36 in Covington, East End gives the community additional nature trails as well as an access point to the Alcovy River. East End is open for visitors each day from sunrise to sunset.
For more information 12
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Credit: Hank Ohme
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For mor e infor mation on contact GWF at 770-787-7887 or visit
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looking for a venue for your next big event? Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Alcovy Conservation Center is just minutes but a world away from historic downtown Covington. Quietness and tranquility reign among the mosaic 115 acres of venerable, shaded forests and open pasturelands, which makes it idyllic for meetings, retreats, seminars, luncheons, reunions, fundraisers, concerts, workshops, weddings, picnics, or any event that entreats a special place. Options include: v v v
v v v
The rustic, secluded Turner Cabin. The cozy Cochran House, ideal for retreats. A spacious executive conference center with a comfortable classroom, meeting rooms, and seminar halls. Wireless Internet and audio-visual equipment are also available. Two open-air pavilions. Demonstration gardens and outdoor learning areas. Relaxing nature trails perfect for quick hikes or leisurely nature walks.
Ways You Can Help Keep Georgia Wild
JOIN GWF OR DONATE.
See back panel or join online at www.GWF.org.
SUBSCRIBE TO GWF COMMUNICATIONS AND ALERTS. Subscribe at www.GWF.org to receive
monthly updates via email. For action alerts, visit www.CAMOCOALITION.org. And, follow us on Facebook to see some amazing photography and keep track of upcoming events.
Numerous volunteer opportunities are available through GWF from greeting the public at a Buckarama to maintaining habitat gardens and trails at the Alcovy Conservation Center and Mill Creek Nature Center.
ATTEND A GWF EVENT
GWF hosts special events and fundraisers throughout the year. Proceeds from events help us keep the Federation’s mission work going strong. Buckarama (August and February - Perry): GWF’s Buckaramas bring vendors, experts, and sportsmen and women of all ages together. e 3-day events are full of seminars, activities for kids, live animal shows and demonstrations, and more. Sporting Auctions, Dinners, and Socials (August - Covington, September - Statesboro, and March - Smyrna): GWF’s auctions and dinners are always a great evening of fun, food, and fellowship. Auction items oen include hunting and fishing trips, wildlife art, outdoor equipment, and guns. Youth/Adult Dove Hunt (September - Mansfield) Join GWF and other sportsmen and women of all ages for our annual dove hunt at the Dan Gunn Fields in the Chattahoochee - Oconee National Forest in Jasper County. Rivers Alive (September - Covington, October - Buford): GWF helps to sponsor two Rivers Alive events during the year. At both, participants volunteer for a few hours to clean trash from in and around Georgia’s streams and wetlands. At the Buford event, eﬀorts are also focused on removing invasive exotic plants so that native species can get re-established. Keeping Georgia Wild Summit (September and January Covington): GWF hosts two meetings a year to discuss issues and upcoming legislation with like-minded partners and organizations. Clay Shoot for Conservation (Spring - location varies): is is always a fun event as 4-person teams compete while raising funds for GWF conservation programs. Earth Day and National Trails Day (April & June - Buford): Spend the morning with staﬀ and volunteers at Mill Creek Nature Center. Eﬀorts focus on clearing the wetlands of invasive, exotic Chinese privet.
Visit www.GWF.org for a current CALENDAR OF EVENTS Both Amazon and Kroger will donate a small percentage of your everyday purchases to the charity of your choice. Please take a moment to link your accounts to GWF. Every little bit makes a diﬀerence. Visit www.GWF.org for more details and links. 15
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DON’T MISS OUT Subscribe to our eNewsletter at www.GWF.org and follow us on Facebook.
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or submit to Georgia Wildlife Federation 11600 Hazelbrand Road, Covington, GA 30014 PHONE: 770-787-7887
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