The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources maintains detailed information about the Forever Wild program. While this information in itself is not sufficient for an informed vote by a legislator, it does provide insight into the acquisition process and rationale for aquiring certain properties. Let’s look at a few properties listed by the DCNR:
THE PERIWINKLE SPRING ADDITION TRACT in Madison County consists of 40 acres that serve as an addition to Monte Sano State Park. The tract has one of the only permanent springs in that portion of the mountain, and also supports a small population of federally listed wildflowers. Objectives: habitat conservation, outdoor recreation, scientific research and education Date Acquired: February 20, 2004 Property Value: $100,000
THE BLOWING SPRINGS CAVE TRACT in Lauderdale County has cave habitat that is vital to the threatened gray bat. This 60 acre property will be preserved primarily to protect the existing and future population of this species at this location. Objectives: Habitat conservation (Contribute to the recovery of the threatened gray bat in the southeastern United States), outdoor recreation, scientific research and education Date Acquired: April 15, 1998 Property Value: approximately $122,000
THE WEHLE TRACT in Bullock County consists of 1,505 acres of rolling pine hills and hardwood branch bottoms that will be used for public recreation and a nature preserve. Approximately 640 acres are included in the adjacent Barbour County Wildlife Management Area. This purchase involved a discounted sale, whereby the landowner voluntarily sold the tract for 50% of the appraised value. Objectives: Habitat conservation, outdoor recreation, scientific research and education Date Acquired: October 28, 1994 Property Value: approximately $2,000,000
THE COLDWATER MOUNTAIN (Dedicated by Forever Wild Resolution as the Doug Ghee Nature Preserve and Recreation Area) TRACT in Calhoun County consists of 3,924 acres of a high, pine-hardwood covered mountain along Interstate Highway 20 that casts its shadow onto portions of Anniston and Oxford. The tract secures a large portion of the local watershed for Coldwater Spring, a unique ecological environment and source of drinking water for local municipalities. Objectives: Habitat conservation, outdoor recreation, scientific research and education Date Acquired: October 2, 1998 Property Value: approximately $2,530,000
THE MONSANTO TRACT in Marshall County consists of 209 acres of a mountainous, pine-hardwood covered peninsula on Lake Guntersville that is being managed as both an extension of Guntersville State Park and to provide nesting habitat for the growing local population of Bald Eagles. Objectives: Habitat conservation (Bald Eagle habitat), outdoor recreation, scientific research and education Date Acquired: September 13, 1994 Property Value: approximately $141,000.