Protected areas of Georgia (U.S. state)


Protected areas of Georgia (U.S. state)

The protected areas of Georgia cover almost one million acres (4,000 km²) of the state. These areas are managed by different federal and state level authorities and receive varying levels of protection. Some areas are managed as wilderness while others are operated with acceptable commercial exploitation. On the Federal level, Georgia contains 1 Biosphere Reserve, 4 National Parks, 1 National Forest and 8 Wildlife Refuges. Georgia is home to 63 state parks, 48 of which are state parks and 15 that are historic sites, and many state wildlife preserves, under the supervision of the Georgia Department of Parks and Recreation, a division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. [http://www.gadnr.org/ Georgia Department of Natural Resources gadnr.org] , Accessed December 15, 2007 ]

Federal level protected areas

Georgia's federally protected areas are managed by agencies within the United States Department of the Interior. The agencies which govern nationally protected places in Georgia are the National Park Service; the U.S. Forest Service; the Bureau of Land Management; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Preserve.

National Parks

Georgia has many national parks and historic sites within its borders which fall under the purview of the National Park Service. These areas include
*Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville
*Appalachian National Scenic Trail
*Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area near Atlanta and the
*Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park at Fort Oglethorpe.

Other areas which are included are the
*Cumberland Island National Seashore near Saint Marys
*Fort Frederica National Monument on St. Simons Island
*Fort Pulaski National Monument in Savannah
*Jimmy Carter National Historic Site near Plains
*Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park near Kennesaw
*Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site in Atlanta
*Ocmulgee National Monument at Macon and the
*Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. [ [http://www.nps.gov/state/ga/ National Park Service nps.gov] , accessed May 13, 2007]

National Forests

The U.S. Forest Service oversees the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in northern Georgia. The forest is actually two U.S. National Forests combined, the Oconee National Forest and Chattahoochee National Forest. The area of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest is 865,855 acres (3,504 km²), of which the Chattahoochee National Forest comprises 750,502 acres (3,037 km²) and the Oconee National Forest comprises 115,353 acres (467 km²). The county with the largest portion of the forest is Rabun County, Georgia, which has 148,684 acres (602 km²) within its boundaries. [ [http://www.fs.fed.us/conf/2007-fact-sheet.pdf 2007 fact sheet] , Accessed December 28, 2007 ]

Wildlife Refuges

Several Wildlife Refuges in Georgia are overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Preserve. The areas under that agencies care are the
*Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge which oversees the Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge
*Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge and Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
*the Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex which oversees several different refuges including
**Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge
**Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge
**Savannah National Wildlife Refuge
**Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge
**Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge. [ [http://www.fws.gov/southeast/maps/ga.html Georgia State Map] , Accessed December 28, 2007 ]

tate level protected areas

The Georgia state park system was founded in 1931. The first two areas to be designated as state parks were Indian Springs State Park and Vogel State Park. Other parks in Georgia include, but are not limited to, A.H. Stephens Historic Park in Crawfordville; Bobby Brown State Park in Elberton and Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah. In 2006, over thirteen million people visit Georgia's state parks. [ [http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2152 Georgia State Parks] , Accessed December 15, 2007 ]

Biosphere Reserve

Four of Georgia's protected areas are part of the Carolinian-South Atlantic Biosphere Reserve. [ [http://www.rmrs.nau.edu/USAMAB/MAB_web_documents/US%20Biosphere%20Reserve%20Contacts_Jun00_web.pdf U.S Biosphere Reserve Contacts] , Accessed December 28, 2007 ] They are:

*Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge and Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge
*Cumberland Island National Seashore
*Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
*Little St. Simon's Island

Flora and Fauna

The State of Georgia has approximately 250 tree species and 58 protected plants. Georgia's native trees include red cedar, a variety of pines, oaks, maples, sweetgum and scaly-bark and white hickories, as well as many others. Yellow jasmine, flowering quince, and mountain laurel make up just a few of the flowering shrubs in the state. Of the 58 protected plants in the state 23 are endangered. [http://www.city-data.com/states/Georgia-Flora-and-fauna.html Georgia - Flora and fauna - city-data.com] , accessed February 3, 2007]

Regarding fauna, white-tailed deer can be found in approximately 50 counties. The mockingbird and brown thrasher are just two of the 160 bird species that can be found in the state. The eastern diamondback, copperhead, and cottonmouth as well as salamanders, frogs, and toads are among 79 species of reptile and 63 amphibians that make Georgia their home. The most popular freshwater game fish are trout, bream, bass, and catfish, all but the last of which are produced in state hatcheries for restocking. Dolphins, porpoises, whales, shrimp, oysters, and blue crabs are found off the Georgia coast. Finally, approximately 43 species in Georgia are considered to be endangered.

References


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