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November 24, 2008

Indian Creek Wildlife Habitat Restoration effort honored for resource management

The National Association of Forest Service Retirees presented the Enoree Ranger District with the national John McGuire Award for outstanding work in natural resource management on the Indian Creek Wildlife Habitat Restoration Initiative on Nov. 14.

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service joined with partners like the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Small Game Project to initiate the Indian Creek Wildlife Habitat Restoration Initiative on the Enoree Ranger District and adjacent private lands. The 16,000-acre project restores and improves wildlife habitat for grassland-dependent species such as bobwhite quail and certain songbird species including Bachman’s sparrow, loggerhead shrike and prairie warbler. The loss of appropriate habitat due to downtrends in farming, development and the spread of invasive non-native grasses have contributed to a significant regional decline in these species over the past several decades. The project focuses on the re-establishment of warm season native bunch grasses and the eradication of the competing invasive species through practices such as thinning and prescribed burning. Nine partners (federal and state agencies and conservation organizations) and 21 private landowners are involved in the Indian Creek Wildlife Habitat Restoration Initiative.

For information on quality habitat management for quail, contact the DNR Small Game Project at (803) 734-4306 in Columbia. The Enoree Ranger District is located in the Sumter National Forest. Find out more by contacting the Enoree office at (803) 276-4810.

The John R. McGuire Award is presented to deserving Forest Service employees for outstanding work in natural resources management. The award is named in honor of John McGuire, who served as the 10th Chief of the Forest Service from 1972-1979, and helped draft the National Forest Management Act.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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