Alabama Forever Wild Trust program seeks land nominations
If you know of a piece of the rugged Alabama country that needs to be preserved for public use, an opportunity may present itself soon, even if you don’t own the land yourself.
Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust program seeks nominations for land to acquire.
To ensure greater habitat conservation and public recreation opportunities, Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust (FWLT) program began creating state-owned nature reserves and recreation areas from 1992.
The FWLT has secured more than 270,000 acres of land in Alabama for public use since its inception. On that permanent land, the trust owns 210,411 acres, or less than 0.55% of Alabama’s total land area, according to the organization. A long-term recreational lease secured the balance of the total area.
The Trust’s Board of Directors will hold its third quarterly public meeting of 2021 on Thursday, August 5 at the Alabama State Agriculture and Industries Auditorium in the Richard Beard Building at 1445 Federal Drive in Montgomery . The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. At this meeting, updates on Forever Wild program activities and plot evaluations will be presented. The meeting will also be an opportunity for anyone wishing to comment on the program to address the Board of Directors.
For hunters, wildlife watchers, hikers and anglers, these public reserves are a tremendous free asset at a time when recreational leases are increasingly expensive. The FWLT acquisitions also created more than 388 miles of recreational trails in 23 new recreation areas and nature reserves, while adding additions to 9 state parks and 20 wildlife management areas, according to the Trust.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) manages these lands through its various divisions: state lands, state parks, and freshwater wildlife and fishing. ADCNR is not a General Fund Agency and relies on revenues from the sale of permits (hunting and fishing) and fees from park visitors to support its public service operations.
Without depending on taxpayer dollars, these coastal wetlands, forests, wildlife habitats and other natural spaces have been protected so that future generations can enjoy them.
The public are invited to attend this meeting and are encouraged to submit plot applications for possible purchase of the Forever Wild program. Written nominations can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by letter to the State Lands Division, Room 464, 64 N. Union St., Montgomery, Alabama, 36130. Nominations can also be made online at www.alabamaforeverwild.com/contact/nominate_land_tracts.
The Forever Wild Land Trust supports public access to hunting. Nearly 143,000 acres of leased public hunting land has been removed from the WMA system since 1992, with more losses each year according to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The only funding method to replace these large tracts is the FWLT.
To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.