Wildlife Commission Seeks Public Input for Johns River and South Mountains Game Lands Management Plan

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is holding a public meeting on Aug. 25 to seek input in developing a management plan for the Johns River and South Mountain game lands, located in western North Carolina.

The meeting will be held at the Foothills Higher Education Center, 2128 South Sterling St., in Morganton. It will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m., although attendees should arrive a few minutes early to receive meeting handouts. Wildlife Commission staff will use public input from the meeting to help guide management and user activities on these two game lands for the next 10 years.

Johns River Game Land comprises 3,893 acres in Burke County, while South Mountains Game Land comprises 21,647 acres in Burke, Cleveland, McDowell and Rutherford counties. Both game lands are mostly forested, with South Mountains Game Land containing 7,860 acres of land in the Cooperative Upland Habitat Restoration and Enhancement (CURE) program. Large portions of game lands in the CURE program are managed for generally declining wildlife species that rely on various types of early successional habitat to meet their needs. Popular game species on these game lands include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, dove, squirrel and rabbit. Waterfowl hunting opportunities are also available on Johns River Game Land. Several rare plant and animal species are located on South Mountains Game Land.

“We are encouraging everyone who has an interest in these game lands to attend the meeting to provide input on how the properties should be managed,” said Gordon Warburton, Mountain Ecoregion supervisor with the Commission. “We hope to hear from not just hunters and fishermen, but also from wildlife watchers, photographers, birders and others who use or have an interest in using these game lands.”

The Commission also is accepting comments and suggestions from people who do not attend the meeting. Submit comments regarding this game land management plan at www.ncwildlife.org. Click on “Comment on Game Land Plans” in the scrolling icons at the bottom of the homepage. Comments also can be e-mailed to gamelandplan@ncwildlife.org. Type the name of the game land on which you are commenting in the subject line.

The Wildlife Commission will provide updates on the development of new management plans for all of its game lands on Facebook and Twitter.

Meeting attendees should note that the proposed shooting range on the Linville River Tract of Pisgah Game Land will not be discussed at this meeting.