Due to emergency health concerns resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak and in response to Governor Kemp’s directives to state agencies, the venue for the April 17, 2020 meeting of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and Shore Protection Committee will be held via GoToWebinar telephone conference.
Sightings of Georgia’s native black bears typically begin to pick up in the spring. These sightings are normal, and are to be expected across our state, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
9:20 a.m. – North Georgia Mountains Authority meeting
10:00 a.m. – Committee meetings called to order by Chairman Bodine Sinyard
Board meeting called to order immediately following the Committee meetings
Parks Recreation & Historic Sites Division
Georgia’s State Park Golf Courses offered free play to military on Veterans Day. At Highland Walk at Victoria Bryant State Park, 22 guests took advantage of the offer and the course still generated $3,058.83 in revenue. Also, the Lakes at Laura S. Walker State Park held its annual Golf Customer Appreciation Day with 53 golfers and lunch provided by their Friends Group. To honor veterans further, Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park hosted a special ceremony that included a flag retirement. This park is a designated Vietnam War Commemoration Partner.
Cloudland Canyon State Park’s new manager-in-training visited a local elementary school and discussed bears and other outdoor topics with 68 students. The park’s Friends group hosted four middle school classes with guided hikes and tours of the interpretive center. ParkPass sales totaled $4,950 for the busy week.
Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation offered its annual Ghosts and Legends walking tours during October, as well as a special tour for the St. Simons newcomers club. Total revenue was $3,420 or about 1/3 of the site’s overall revenue. Laura S. Walker State Park held numerous programs this past week as well, including Friday night hayrides with s’mores -- especially popular with campers -- plus turkey crafts, wildlife shows and movie nights. DNR’s Non-Game Division assisted with preserving the park’s pitcher plant bog and plans to return soon to continue the partnership.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site always welcomes numerous groups and special programs. This past week they hosted eight school groups with more than 400 students, plus a few home school groups. Presentations included America’s rise from the Great Depression, Courageous Women of WW I, and Lady Spies.
Wildlife Resources Division
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center was host to Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow last week. Seventeen participants from across the United States came to Georgia to explore the sport of hunting and participate in a pheasant hunt. Overall everyone had a great time.
Mincy Moffett worked with Kevin Lowrey of Game Mgt. Region 2 to survey for and mark Georgia Aster populations at Wilson Shoals WMA in preparation for upcoming timber stand improvements for shortleaf pine restoration.
Quail and rabbit season opens this Saturday, 11/16.
Staff with the Waycross Fisheries Office gave presentations on freshwater fish identification, shock boat usage, and invasive species management to over 120 fourth graders at Blackshear Elementary School. Students were shown live fish, given an overview of a standard shock boat, and shown several specimens of non-native/invasive species.
Field staff completed fall gillnet sampling on the mountain lakes along the Tallulah River this week. Sampling revealed good survival of walleye stocked by WRD personnel earlier this year. Some trophy sized yellow perch were also collected. Sample crews on the westside of the region also documented survival of walleye stocked this spring at Rocky Mountain Public Fishing are and Carters Lake. This is potentially good news for north Georgia anglers targeting walleye over the next few years.
Historic Preservation Division
HPD staff is in the process of providing technical assistance to the City of Atlanta Housing Authority as AH develops plans to rehabilitate Roosevelt Hall, a contributing resource within the National Register-listed Atlanta University Center Historic District. The circa 1935 Roosevelt Hall served as the administration building for the University Homes public housing complex, the first African-American public housing complex in Atlanta. Roosevelt Hall is the last remaining building associated with University Homes, which was demolished in the 1990s.
HPD outreach coordinator Melissa Jest visited the Kinlaw Rosenwald school in Camden County with members of the new Kinlaw School Restoration Committee on November 1. This grassroots group has successfully secured the roof damaged in recent Hurricanes and is raising funds for other sensitive exterior repairs. Kinlaw Rosenwald school is one of two remaining Rosenwald schools in Camden County and was once touted as the finest school in the county when it was built in 1922 according to local historians.
Scottsville neighbors in Dublin, GA gear up for an informal survey of their community as they consider applying for National Register district designation. City Councilman Bennie Jones and members of the Scottsville Neighborhood Association have invited HPD staffer Melissa Jest to share on the benefits and tools of historic preservation at their November 26 meeting.
This past week, archaeologists from the Historic Preservation Division attended the Southeastern Archaeological Conference. In addition to attending informative sessions and workshops, HPD archaeologists presented in a symposium on Sapelo Island research and participated in workshops that brought together tribes and SHPO representatives across the southeast.
Archaeologists from HPD presented to the Archaeological Methods class at Georgia State University to walk students through the Section 106 process of the National Historic Preservation Act, how to address archaeological looting, the benefits of listing archaeological sites on the National Register, and introduced students to other pieces of federal and state legislation regarding cultural resources.
Law Enforcement Division
On November 9th, Region VI-Metter Game Wardens responded to a tree stand incident in Charlton County involving a 13-year old male. The juvenile reportedly fell approximately 15 feet and broke both lower leg bones and an ankle. He was transported to a hospital in Jacksonville, FL for treatment.
On November 10th, Game Wardens from Region III-Thomson responded to hunting incident on Gratis Road in Walton County. The victim fell from tree stand approximately 40 feet high. He was transported to Athens Regional Hospital for treatment of various injuries.
Coastal Resources Division
CRD’s Paul Medders was awarded the 2019 Millie Graham Award at the Georgia Association of Marine Education (GAME) annual meeting on Skidaway Island. This award recognizes lifelong achievements in individuals who provide service above and beyond the call of duty to GAME and in the area of marine science and marine science education. Photo here.
CRD provided weighmasters for two trout tournaments on Nov. 9 at Blue -N-Hall Marina & Boat Ramp in Darien and Hickory Bluff Club and Marina in Waverly.
Staff gave a presentation regarding 2019 Red Snapper season data collection to the Sapelo Saltwater Fishing Club in Shellman Bluff.
CRD Marsh & Shore Permitting staff participated in a discussion directed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Georgia and Utah State University on how to communicate storm-surge risks to the public in the most meaningful way to help people make informed decisions about their safety. The goal of the project is to improve the way maps and other visualizations convey hurricane risks to coastal communities.
The Coastal Advisory Council met Wednesday for its fall quarterly meeting. Staff gave presentations on the Coastal Nonpoint Source Plan and the St. Simons Sound/Golden Ray overview. The Council discussed past and future legislative issues. Staff also announced that July 2020 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act.