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spectr17
11-21-2007, 05:58 PM
Georgia DNR And Ducks Unlimited Dedicate Billy Cullens Memorial Nature Trail

11/21/07

Social Circle, Georiga - The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) and the Georgia chapter of Ducks Unlimited (DU) recently teamed together to dedicate new observation towers and an interpretive trail in honor of the late Billy Cullens on the Altamaha Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located on Butler Island. The new trail and observation towers, located on Hwy. 17, just south of Darien in McIntosh County will offer birdwatchers and outdoor enthusiasts alike excellent opportunities to observe wetland-dependent wildlife in the managed impoundments of the Butler Island Refuge unit of the Altamaha WMA. New informational signs along the trail provide visitors information on waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, wetlands, songbirds and salt marshes. Birdwatchers from across the state are expected to utilize the area because of its location along the popular Colonial Coast Birding Trail.

"This new nature trail is a great example of the conservation efforts that can be accomplished with the help of our partners" says WRD chief of game management Mark Whitney. "Ducks Unlimited, which is primarily composed of waterfowl hunters, has helped conserve and manage countless acres of wetland habitat in Georgia, and now this trail helps to educate everyone about wetland management and wetland-dependent wildlife."

Volunteers with Ducks Unlimited donated the necessary funds to purchase the signs, build the observation towers and place two plaques at the recently completed Billy Cullens Memorial Nature Trail and Observation Towers.

"Billy Cullens was a good friend to me and to the ducks," said a DU spokesman. "This trail will be dedicated to his memory and will be open for everyone to enjoy."

The two commemorative plaques at the site recognize both the late Billy Cullens and the Sea Island Company. Cullens was a dedicated waterfowl hunter, conservationist and sportsman who was extremely interested in waterfowl conservation and the management of Altamaha WMA. Cullens was an active member of the coastal waterfowl committee, a small committee established to improve communications between WRD and the duck hunting public.

The Sea Island Company was recognized for their long-time partnership with WRD in a variety of conservation activities, from the annual WRD fundraising event held on Sea Island known as Weekend for Wildlife, to the donation of funds to used to help acquire important lands along the lower Altamaha River. Partner funds from the Sea Island Company have been used in projects such as rebuilding dikes on Rhett's Island, acquiring Penholoway Swamp and acquiring Clayhole Swamp.

The nature trail and observation towers opened for public use Nov. 8. For more information on the Altamaha WMA, visit www.georgiawildlife.com (http://www.georgiawildlife.com/), and for more information on the Billy Cullens Nature Trail and Observation Towers, call the WRD game management office in Brunswick at (912) 262-3173.

Media Contact:
Jennifer N. Barnes (770) 918-6795