If you’re down at the beach on the Alapaha River,
just upstream from US 84,
in the new Lowndes County Naylor Boat Ramp Park,
and a game warden should happen to say you need a WMA pass,
please tell him you’re in a public park owned by Lowndes County,
and if there’s any doubt about that, please consult the
Lowndes County Tax Assessors online map,
or call Lowndes County,
or call me.
Lowndes County Tax Commission Map, Parcel 0259 030B.
There seems to be some confusion, possibly because the Georgia Department
of Natural Resources (DNR) map
Lola Tract WMA
does not show any sign of a park.
Map: ESRI, of the
Lola Tract Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
I would imagine this is because,
even though Lowndes County bought the park land in late 2015
and the WMA did not appear until late 2017,
most likely the WMA agreement was in the works for some time before it was publicly announced, quite possibly from back before the park land sale to the county.
So the WMA map is probably just old.
But if you look in the
Lowndes County Tax Commissioner online maps,
while the land surrounding the park away from the river and the highway
is indeed owned by Acree Investments, the
park is clearly visible as a carve-out in the lower right corner.
Lowndes County Tax Commissioner, Acree Investments parcel 0259 030A.
How can private land be a WMA patroled by Georgia state game wardens?
According to its state web page:
“Lola Tract is a Voluntary Public Access (VPA) property. Since 2014
through a USDA grant, the Wildlife Resources Division has been able
to enhance and add to its WMA program through additional temporary
agreements with private landowners for public hunting opportunities.”
So Acree Investments owns the WMA land, but the state runs it as Lola Tract VPA.
But the park is not part of the VPA.
The VPA access road starts just north of the Naylor Boat Ramp:
New entrance to Lola Tract VPA
Unless you go up that road beyond the boat ramp, you are still in the park.
Where you do not owe the state anything to picnic, fish, swim, paddle, etc.
on the beach.
Seems like Georgia DNR should fix their map for Lola Tract WMA.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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