Outdoor Updates: Georgia preserves 2,000-acres for critically endangered species habitat

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Photo by Florida Fish and Wildlife of Gopher Tortoise

Georgia preserves 2,000-acres for critically endangered species habitat

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Open Space Institute announced two land acquisitions in southeast Georgia on Wednesday. The first property secures important habitat for the restoration of rare species, including the extremely rare plant, the hairy rattleweed, and the Georgia state reptile, the gopher tortoise. The other parcel of land will be added to the Moody Forest Wildlife Management Area and will protect wildlife habitat along the Altamaha River. Georgia DNR is working to make both parcels of land open to public recreation sometime in 2020. 

Human testing of shot to prevent Lyme disease is coming soon

A group of researchers in Massachusetts are developing an anti-Lyme shot that would protect against the tick-borne illness for several months at a time. MassBiologics reports that manufacturing the anti-Lyme antibodies is going well and that testing of the safety of the shot should begin on humans in mid-2020. MassBiologics is not the only company working to develop a way to prevent humans from contracting Lyme disease. A French company is also testing a new vaccine that could be available in four or five years. 

There are over 200,000 cases of Lyme disease reported every year. If the disease is caught early it can be cured with antibiotics. Without treatment, those affected can experience joint pain and stiffness, severe headaches, heart palpitations and facial palsy.

National Park Service looks to expand public access to inaccessible land

The National Park Service is in the process of expanding recreation opportunities on public lands that are currently inaccessible behind private land holdings. Nudged by a law called the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the NPS is asking the public for suggestions on which parcels of land should be opened up to the public.

Though January 4 the public is invited to weigh in on the topic. Suggested parcels must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be managed by the NPS
  • Must be at least 640 contiguous acres
  • Must have significantly restricted or no public access
  • Potential for public access and the likelihood of resolving the absence of public access are also criteria for consideration

To submit your comment visit the NPS website comment section. Include the location of the parcel you are suggesting, including its total acreage and the reason the land is currently restricted. 

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