#05-211 October 10, 2005
DNR Receives Wildlife Lands, Funding From Corps For Lowcountry Areas
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has received $4.85 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the continued state operation and management of Donnelley and Palachucola Wildlife Management Areas in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
In addition to the management funds, ownership of the lands, totaling 10,165 acres, was also transferred from the Corps of Engineers to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
In a ceremony held Oct. 3 in Columbia, Col. Mark S. Held with the Corps of Engineers presented the deeds to the property and a $4.85 million check to John Frampton, DNR director.
According to Frampton, the funds will be placed in a management trust, with interest revenue used to operate and manage the 6,757-acre Palachucola Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Hampton and Jasper counties and a 3,408-acre portion of the 8,048-acre Donnelley WMA in Colleton County.
"For many years, DNR and the State of South Carolina have enjoyed a beneficial and productive relationship with our friends at the Corps," Frampton said. "Since the early 1990s, DNR and the Corps of Engineers have worked together to fund the operation and management of these public lands for the benefit of wildlife, habitat protection and outdoor recreation."
"I'm happy I can officially convey ownership of these 10,165 acres to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for the continued use by the people of the state," said Col. Held, commander of the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "The Savannah District set aside these tracts as mitigation for the creation of Lake Richard B. Russell. This is truly a win-win for both our agencies. I know that these lands will continue to provide excellent wildlife habitat under the management of the Department of Natural Resources, plus the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be able to focus resources on other aspects of the Lake Russell project."
Frampton added that DNR is especially appreciative of the efforts of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. "We want to thank Senator Graham for his support of this project," Frampton said. "Senator Graham worked with DNR and the Corps of Engineers throughout the process to ensure the continued protection and management of these ecologically diverse Wildlife Management Areas. Hunters, anglers, birdwatchers, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts enjoy access to these valuable public lands."
The Corps of Engineers acquired these two properties as mitigation for the Lake Richard B. Russell project on the Savannah River in Abbeville County. Management of Donnelley and Palachucola was transferred to DNR in 1992 and 1994, respectively. Since that time, the Corps has provided DNR with annual funds to manage the properties.
- Written by G. Michael Willis -