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Conservation Boots on the Ground in Southern Piney Woods

Within its Southern Piney Woods region of America’s Big Six of Wildlife Conservation, the NWTF Texas State Chapter has begun a new Super Fund project with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to improve habitat on the Alabama Creek Wildlife Management Area.

David Gladkowski August 25, 20222 min read

This project will enhance habitat for an existing population of Eastern wild turkeys and improve overall ecological value.

The 14,560-acre WMA lies within the Davy Crockett National Forest and is operated under an agreement between the USDA Forest Service and TPWD. Alabama Creek was established as a state WMA specifically for public hunting and many other recreational opportunities.

Active land management practices within the WMA have yielded excellent habitat for many species. The recent partnership with the NWTF and TPWD continues this work and targets over 2,000 acres of habitat management in the WMA.

“The goal of the project is to restore wildlife habitat through mechanical mulching and implementation of a regular fire regime,” said Annie Farrell, NWTF district biologist for Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. “The unit is dense with yaupon, so this project will help open up the understory to provide a more suitable and contiguous habitat for wild turkeys.”

This work will directly benefit the Eastern wild turkeys that inhabit the forest. Opening up the dense understory vegetation through mechanical mulching allows more sunlight to hit the forest floor, promoting the growth of herbaceous grasses and forbs and creating a more suitable habitat.

“Thick understory brush decreases useable space for wild turkeys, and mulched sites provide immediately usable space,” Farrell said. “Following up with practices such as herbicide and prescribed fire can help maintain the open understory and keep resprouts under control, which is beneficial for many wildlife species. Prescribed burning promotes the establishment of grasses and other herbaceous covers, which provides good forage, nesting and brooding habitat.”

The project is located within TPWD’s Neches River Focal Landscape, where the Eastern wild turkey super stocking program is taking place.

Wild turkey, white-tailed deer, feral hog, waterfowl, dove, other migratory game birds, squirrel, quail and frogs are the most frequently hunted game species in the WMA.

For more information on hunting within the Alabama Creek WMA, visit here.

Filed Under:
  • America's Southern Piney Woods
  • Healthy Habitats
  • Land Management