An 8,000-acre tract of Cabin Bluff property will soon become a state wildlife management area.

The wildlife designation was enabled after the Georgia Board of Natural Resources voted Tuesday to acquire the tract in Camden County from the Nature Conservancy and the Open Space Institute.

The wildlife management area will be used for recreation including fishing, hunting, kayaking, wildlife viewing and nature photography.

The site includes salt marshes, tidal creeks and longleaf pine woods, serving as habitat for threatened and endangered species including the gopher tortoise, wood storks and the eastern indigo snake.

“Cabin Bluff and neighboring Ceylon are significant natural areas in Georgia,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of the Open Space Institute. “An incredible array of native species will continue to call the property and its waters home, and the public will have more access to the land than ever in its history.”

The $11 million purchase was made with the cooperation of several nonprofits and government agencies, including $2.5 million from the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act, $3 million from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, $500,000 from the Open Space Institute and others.

A 3,200-acre tract of Cabin Bluff property was also purchased recently by a Jacksonville, Fla.-based church, with plans to use it as a retreat for the congregation.

The land will serve as a buffer to nearby Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, home to a fleet of ballistic missile submarines where intrusion has always been a concern.

The site has been selected one of seven Sentinel Landscapes established in 2019.

The sentinel landscapes are designated areas near high-value military installations or ranges with the goal of strengthening military readiness, bolstering agricultural and forestry productivity, conserving natural resources and increasing access to recreational opportunities.

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