It was a special day today at Belfast WMA. The event was a dedication of the property to serve as recreational and educational area for present and future generations. The 4,664 acres is a wonderful addition to the wildlife management program.
Speakers included: Michael McShane, Chairman, S.C. Department of Natural Resources Board, Representative Mike Pitts, District 14, Larry Selzer, President, The Conservation Fund, Marvin Durant, Executive Director, South Carolina Conservation Bank, and John Frampton, Director, S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
Marvin Durant spoke of days gone by when outdoor opportunities abounded. He said, "We have bought back part of the past by purchasing Belfast Plantation."
John Frampton said, "The number one priority of the SCDNR board has been habitat protection." He went on to say that Belfast will be unique in the was that it is used to provide educational opportunities for youth, access for "wounded warriors" and as a special place to be utilized by local residents. He assured that revenue generated by sound timber management practices would be used for upkeep and improvement of the WMA and not channelled back to the agency.
South Carolina has seen a loss of public hunting and recreational property in past years, but it was stressed in this meeting that over 145,000 acres have been purchased during the current board's tenure.
Larry Selzer gave an inspirational talk about the need for children to get outdoors and experience the healthy activities of nature. There is a "dullness" in many of today's children. An average if seven hours daily in front of electronic devices has contributed to increases in obesity, diabetes and other problems.
Loss of habitat and places to recreate ourselves is becoming more of a problem daily. Setting aside jewels such as Belfast will help to stem the tide and hopefully we can see a re-awakening of the desire to experience nature.
Photos by L. Ross above show Belfast Plantation house and John Frampton.