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  • Monday, November 10, 2014 8:08 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    A big Friends group thanks to Linda Etchells and Swampgirls for raising over $1100 during their annual Refuge Week Paddle on October 3rd on the Savannah River.  Great fun and a great fund-raiser!

    Photo by Linda Lee

  • Sunday, November 02, 2014 10:21 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Thanks to the tireless work of Friends members Jim McMahon and Mark Yeager, we have updated our section on the Harris Neck land dispute with new information and historical documents.  Be sure to check it out HERE.

  • Wednesday, October 15, 2014 5:32 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    The US Fish & Wildlife Service staff plan to conduct several control burns during the coming fall and winter months on the Savannah NWR.  The goal of control burning is to enhance wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of wildfires on the Refuge.


    The 2015 Annual Prescribed Fire Plan includes 3,157 acres targeted for burning during the next six months.  Most of the units involve burning wetland impoundments to open up and provide quality habitat prior to the arrival of wintering waterfowl.  Burns are timed so they minimize impacts on wildlife and people.  Units are burned in small blocks to reduce smoke impacts.

    The burn plan addresses a wide range of factors such as safety, weather, fuel conditions, smoke impacts, and also resources needed to conduct the burns. These burn treatments restore the grassland areas, control brush in pine forests, control invasive woody vegetation, and increase the diversity of native plants and wildlife. Other benefits include protection of communities and watersheds by reducing fuels and thus the potential threats of a wildfire.


    Control burns are planned and carried out by trained firefighters operating under strict weather parameters, as set forth in the prescriptions (burn plan).  These plans spell out the number of qualified firefighters, and types and number of equipment that must be present to burn.  The weather conditions, including wind speed and direction, humidity, fuel moisture, and other factors described in the plan must be within a prescribed range.  If the weather conditions don’t match the prescription, the fire is not started.  Smoke from the fires is a concern, and plans call for specific winds to minimize public impact on roads and communities.


    Plans include burning around the refuge Visitor Center this year.  Fire breaks have been constructed to keep the fire in small manageable blocks to minimize any problems with smoke along highway 17 and around neighboring residences.

    Control burns have been conducted for many years at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, and are considered an important tool for managing wildlife habitat and reducing the risk of serious wildfires.  Due to difficulties in predicting weather, the refuge is not able to notify the public of the exact day the burn will be conducted.  Landowners adjacent to the burn areas and local fire departments are notified prior to igniting the fire.  Questions about the control burns can be answered by calling the Refuge office at (843) 784-2468.


  • Tuesday, September 23, 2014 4:51 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    Don't miss the activities planned around Refuge Week 2014!  See the Upcoming Event section for details.

  • Tuesday, July 15, 2014 11:17 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
         The Friends Group wants you!  From now until August 15th we are mounting our Summer Membership Drive.  Anyone joining during the drive will receive two years of membership for the price of one year!  Or, buy a membership for yourself, and gift a Family membership for one year to the person or family of your choice! 

         You can join online , or send your check to the address listed below.  Check out this recent email for details.

  • Friday, June 27, 2014 9:43 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)

    At a ceremony on a beautiful summer day at Harris Neck NWR yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the wood stork (Mycteria americana) has been down-listed from Endangered to Threatened status under the Endangered Species Act.  This action reflects the marked increase in nesting pairs and colonies observed over the past 30 years.  Harris Neck NWR supports the largest colony in Georgia.

    This is a real success story for the efforts to save this magnificent bird from what was once thought to be almost certain extinction.

    For more info, check out today's Savannah Morning News article.

  • Monday, May 12, 2014 1:08 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
       Be sure to read May 9th SMN article by Friends BOD member Ben Goggins about gators on Savannah NWR.
  • Monday, May 12, 2014 1:07 PM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
      The winners of the 2014 Friends Group Photo Contest were announced today.  For a list of the winners, click HERE.  As soon as we receive the digital copies of the winners, they will be posted on our Flickr site.  Congratulations to Fran Baer and Sean Reitnauer for being awarded "Best in Show" in the Adult and Youth Divisions respectively.
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:35 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
    The deadline to submit your entries for our 2104 Photo Contest has been extended until April 29, 2014.  Don't miss your chance to participate!

  • Saturday, April 05, 2014 10:50 AM | Rick Shields (Administrator)
          The FWS staff of the Savannah Coastal Refruges Complex did a great job last night of honoring refuge volunteers at their annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.
         The dinner was held at Millstone Landing on the Savannah River and featured two boat trips up the river for volunteers and families.  The trips were narrated by Linda Etchells and "Crawfish" Crawford, while Peter Range captained the 25-passenger craft.
         Russ Webb and crew cooked up burgers and brats for the more than 65 attendees. 
         Congratulations to Dot Bambach who was awarded her 4000 Hour volunteer pin, and to Mary Ellen Urbanski and Dale Terrell who were named Volunteers of the Year for 2013.

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Savannah, GA, 31416

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