Now is a great time to visit a wildlife area and spend quality family time enjoying outdoor activities such as fishing, shooting, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing or birding. Before you go, make sure you have the proper recreational license or pass.
“The best family memories are often made outdoors,” said Dan Forster, director of Wildlife Resources Division. "Summer is the perfect time for families to visit wildlife management areas and public fishing areas and enjoy all they have to offer. These natural areas are scattered throughout the state, making them convenient and affordable for day trips or overnight visits."
The new Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass (GORP), which went into effect Jan. 1, 2012, is required for 32 select properties managed by Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
These 32 properties are primarily managed for wildlife, habitat, and outdoor activities that are mostly funded by revenue from hunting and fishing licenses. These same areas are very popular for wildlife viewing, hiking and other recreation. For example:
- Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA), (Walker County) is a great place for rock climbing, caving and hang gliding.
- Clybel WMA/Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center (Jasper County) and Silver Lake WMA (Decatur County) offer horse riding trails and other activities.
- In addition to fantastic fishing, Paradise Public Fishing Area (PFA), (Berrien County) has nature trails, picnic areas, camp sites and wildlife viewing opportunities.
- Shooting enthusiasts can visit ranges throughout the state: Beaverdam WMA (Laurens County), Big Hammock WMA, (Tattnall County), Big Lazer Creek WMA/PFA (Talbot County), Bullard Creek WMA, (Jeff Davis County), Chickasawhatchee WMA (Dougherty County), Clybel WMA (Jasper County), Dixon Memorial WMA (Ware County), Hannahatchee WMA (Stewart County), Mayhaw WMA (Miller County), Ocmulgee WMA/PFA (Pulaski County), Richmond Hill WMA (Bryan County), Walton WMA (Walton County), Wilson Shoals WMA (Banks County) and Yuchi WMA (Burke County)
For a complete list of GORP areas, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/Georgia-Outdoor-Recreational-Pass . The pass is required for visitors ages 16-64. You do not need a GORP if you have a valid WMA, honorary, sportsmen’s, lifetime, or three-day hunting/fishing license.
A GORP for an individual costs $3.50 (three days) and $19 (annual). An Individual GORP Plus is also $3.50 and includes fishing privileges for Georgia residents. For groups of eight or fewer people, the pass is $10 (three days) and $35 (annual).
Since Jan. 1, GORP sales have generated more than $100,000 for much-needed repairs and maintenance projects on these areas. To see how this money is improving access and safety for all visitors, go to www.georgiawildlife.com/Georgia-Outdoor-Recreational-Pass and click on “GORP Dollars at Work.”
The pass is available at www.georgiawildlife.com/recreational-licenses , by calling 1.800.366.2661 or via retail license agents.