State departments agree to increase hunting land

A long-anticipated agreement between two Georgia state departments will increase public hunting opportunities in Middle Georgia, according to a news release from the state Department of Natural Resources.

Georgia DNR and the state Department of Transportation signed an agreement in September allowing the DNR to manage 10,000 additional acres of land statewide on nine tracts owned by the DOT.

In Middle Georgia, this immediately adds 1,127 additional acres to Ocmulgee Wildlife Management Area in Bleckley County, 1,350 acres to Big Lazer Creek Wildlife Management Area in Upson County, 700 acres to Fall Line Sandhills Wildlife Management Area in Taylor County, and about 1,000 acres to Bullard Creek Wildlife Management Area in Montgomery County.

The tracts were purchased by DOT as mitigation for destruction of wetlands by road projects. By law, they must be managed for their wetland and stream benefits, but now they will also be managed for hunting and fishing.