Public input sought on saving rare Georgia animals and plants

Georgia has identified nearly 350 animals and close to 300 plants as high priorities for conservation, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources needs the public’s help protecting them.

For the past two years, dozens of experts have been drafting the next State Wildlife Action Plan, or SWAP, which is required by Congress for the state to be eligible for grant money.

A comprehensive, 10-year review of the 2005 plan will be due at the end of July.

Since more than 90 percent of Georgia land is privately owned, the public has a vital stake in developing the plan, said Jon Ambrose, chief of DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section

“Engaging a broad range of Georgians is critical for shaping the plan, which helps conserve wildlife and the clean air and water on which all of us and future generations depend,” Ambrose said.

Go to www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/wildlife-action-plan to see the plan and make comments before July 15.