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Tag: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

The content below has been tagged with the term “Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.”


  • A pine forest with trees snapped in half by high winds and a bent speed limit sign

    After Hurricane Michael

    November 29, 2018 | 6 minute readCamilla, Georgia — Hurricane Michael barreled across prime Southern timber territory, damaging five million acres of pines and hardwoods and destroying nearly $1.7 billion worth of marketable trees. Habitat for many of the region’s at-risk species — red-cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, eastern indigo snakes — was sundered. Red-cockaded woodpecker in flight. Photo by Martjan Lammertink, U.S. Forest Service. Now, six weeks after Michael killed more than 45 people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, forest owners salvage timber, clear stands and pray for a market rebound. Learn more...

    Tyndall Air Force Base pine forests were scissored by Hurricane Michael. Photo by Dan Chapman, USFWS.

  • Eight employees in USFWS uniform pose for a photograph in front of a slash pine forest.

    Okefenokee proud of its employees with many years of loyal service

    May 30, 2018 | 3 minute readOkefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has many profound distinctions; but, none as great as the loyalty of its staff. 40 percent of the 20-person staff have more than 20 years of experience at Okefenokee, and all but one of those employees grew up around the Okefenokee Swamp. In fact, 12 refuge employees are from the local area. These staff members are well known in the communities around the refuge and have worked closely with surrounding landowners and local businesses that provide services to the refuge. Learn more...

    Front: Brantley Boatright; Ladies (l to r): Sara Aicher, Gracie Gooch, Judy Drury, Dartha Campbell; Men (l to r): Reggie Forcine, Howard McCullough, Rocky Chesser. Photo, USFWS.

  • Winner of 2017 Okefenokee photo contest announced during Pioneer Days

    December 21, 2017 | 2 minute readThe winner of Okefenokee’s third annual photography contest is Stefan Mazzola. He took a beautiful photo of the night sky over Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge during a three-day overnight trip to Monkey Lake. His photo was one of more than 90 submissions. Everyone who participated in this event helped to capture the essence of the refuge. The photos range from subjects of birds and alligators, to families and sunrises. The contest occurs each year in late summer with submissions being accepted until September 30. Learn more...

  • A man guides sugar cane stalks into a large wooden mill.

    Okefenokee steps into history with Pioneer Day

    December 20, 2017 | 1 minute readEach year, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia hosts a Pioneer Day event where visitors can witness what life was like during the homestead period of the 1800s and early 1900s around the vast Okefenokee Swamp. The event centers around the refuge’s Chesser Island Homestead and includes exhibitors and demonstrations representing the early swamper life. One of the event’s highlights is watching volunteers feed sugar cane into the cane grinder and see the sweet cane juice boiled down into cane syrup. Learn more...

    A volunteer feeds sugar cane into the cane grinder. Photo by Susan Heisey, USFWS.

  • A firefighter in protective gear marches through the brush of a pine forest.

    Fencing fire

    May 2, 2017 | 5 minute readThe Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is aflame. As of Monday, May 1, fire had burned more than 100,000 acres. Firefighters from across the country have come to the refuge, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They’ll likely be at the refuge, close to the Georgia-Florida line, for months. Learn more...

    Firefighter in the brush at Okefenokee NWR. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.

  • Entrance sign notifies visitors the refuge is closed due to a fire.

    Keeping upbeat

    May 2, 2017 | 2 minute readFolkston, Georgia – If he needs a reminder of how to run a wildlife refuge – especially one that’s on fire – all Michael Lusk needs to do is look at the skull in his office. That’s an alligator skull, and it came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. At one time, it was attached to a beast about 9 feet long. Propped in its gaping mouth is a narrow sign with a message: Learn more...

    Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is closed as crews battle the West Mims fire. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.

  • A man wearing a hard hat and protective gear yeilds an axe.

    Puerto Ricans bring fight to fire

    May 2, 2017 | 3 minute readFolkston, Georgia – Martin Ramos will always remember that call: “Report to the Okefenokee”. That was six years ago, when a fire rose to life in the middle of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and steadily grew. By the time the 2011 Honey Prairie fire had been extinguished, it had burned more than 300,000 acres. It also sparked an interest in Ramos, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) fire officer assigned to the Service’s Vieques NWR in Puerto Rico. Learn more...

    Martin Ramos of Vieques National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico lends a hand at the West Mims fire. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.


  • A yellow backhoe moves a large pine tree from a road.

    FWS crew gives state partners at Stephen C. Foster a lift speeding up its reopening

    September 15, 2017 | 3 minute readOkefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia - Sometimes the best tool for the job is a large backhoe. Bright yellow and unstoppable, the big John Deere machine was just part of the heavy equipment packed by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service task force deployed to help where needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Comprised of 14 Service veterans from several Southeastern states, with a heavy Louisiana contingent, the team made it to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, just a couple of days after Irma had toppled trees and raised havoc with 60 mph winds. Read the full story...

    Grant Lovato, a fire equipment operator from Louisiana, uses a backhoe to remove a tree that was blocking a public road at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Phil Kloer, USFWS.

  • A group of USFWS personnel in a circle for a meeting.

    Service crews head south

    September 13, 2017 | 2 minute readHurricane Irma had hardly dissipated before U.S. Fish and Wildlife (Service) crews headed south, tracing in reverse the path the storm had cut across Florida and Georgia. In trucks and cars they crossed into Florida, or headed for south Georgia. The teams are bringing fuel, water, food, chainsaws and more to look after people and places in Irma’s path. Crews ran into “logistical challenges” on interstates crowded with evacuees headed home, said Sami Gray, who is leading the Service’s response effort. Read the full story...

    Incident Commander a Sami Gray briefs N MS Task Force team before heading into Big Pine Key to provide support following hurricane. Photo by USFWS.

  • A helicopter drops a load of water on pine trees.

    Okefenokee reopens main entrance

    June 2, 2017 | 2 minute readFolkston, Georgia – Decreased fire activity will allow officials to partially reopen the Main Entrance to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (Suwannee Canal Recreation Area) near Folkston on Friday, June 2. While the West Mims wildfire is still an active fire with 65% containment, fire officials and refuge staff have confidence that the public can access a portion of the visitor facilities at this time. Beginning Friday, the Main Entrance will be open during normal operational hours of 30 minutes before sunrise to 7:30 p. Read the full story...

    West Mims Wildfire at Okefenokee NWR. Photo by Josh O’Connor, USFWS.

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