In an effort to educate the members of the Board of Natural Resources about the daily duties and responsibilities of DNR and EPD employees, Chairman William Bagwell has instituted a new segment during the monthly Board meetings called Employee Focus. Each month an employee selected from one of the divisions of the DNR or EPD will be invited to speak to the Board and explain what they do, why they do it and what drives them to perform their job every day. Ellen Graham presented to the Board at the February 2016 meeting as the first Employee Spotlight. She is pictured above with Chairman Bagwell, Director Kelley, and Commissioner Williams.
THE NEXT DNR BOARD MEETINGS WILL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2016, IN THE DNR BOARDROOM:
COMMITTEE MEETINGS WILL BEGIN AT 9:00 A.M.
BOARD MEETING WILL BEGIN IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
No update this week.
On April 7th, Region III-Thomson Rangers responded to a fatal shooting incident on Hamburg State Park. Upon arrival, they observed a white male in his late twenties on the ground in front of a dark colored truck. It appeared the victim had shot himself with a handgun. The Rangers secured the scene and the case was turned over to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
On April 9th, Rangers and a K-9 from Region II-Gainesville responded to a call from the Statham Police regarding a person who was stopped for a traffic violation, fled the scene, crashed after a short chase, and ran into the woods, leaving two young children in the car. After only a few minutes of tracking, the DNR K-9 located the subject hiding in a briar thicket. The subject surrendered without incident and Barrow County Sheriff’s deputies took him into custody.
Information from the Ecological Monitoring Large Trawl Survey: white shrimp abundance for the first quarter of 2016 is at or slightly below long-term average (Jan:-14.7%, Feb: -11.6%, Mar: +2.5%), but well within statistically acceptable ranges. Blue crab abundance remains well below normal with first quarter estimates 55 to 65% below the long-term average.
Staff attended a Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant Workshop conducted by the GADNR Grants Unit.
Staff attended a joint meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Assessment and Management Science Committees in Alexandria, Virginia. Primary discussion topics included development of a policy to provide guidance on accounting for risk and uncertainty in fisheries assessments, and updates to policy related to the use and implementation of conservation equivalency by Atlantic States.
HPD staff presented to 55 Main Street directors from across Georgia this week in a webinar hosted by the Department of Community Affairs. The presentation detailed the National Register of Historic Places Program, historic preservation tax incentives, and how Main Street staff and community planners can engage Georgia’s communities in historic preservation and revitalization.
Staff planted 4,500 native warm season grass plugs to help restore groundcover at Chickasawhatchee WMA. The plugs were germinated from seed collected following growing season burns at Silver Lake WMA.
We attended the Satilla Water Trail group meeting in Blackshear and discussed potential addition of signs to better identify boater/kayak access to ramps; ongoing updates of the Satilla Riverkeeper website; events involving the Satilla Riverkeeper group including a fishing tournament on May 7, paddle safety classes in June, and other agenda items.
A public hearing is scheduled to provide the public an opportunity to share comments on the proposed hunting regulations at the new WMA Buck Shoals. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. at the White County Senior Center, 1239 Helen Hwy., Cleveland, GA on April 19, 2016.