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South Carolina: Savage Backwater Restoration Project

Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Wildlife Management Area
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The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Wildlife Management Area originated from Mary's Island, the first land protection project ever completed by Ducks Unlimited. The WMA was transferred to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and renamed for former DU President Gaylord Donnelly and his wife.

Donnelly WMA's Savage Backwater Restoration Project impacted 300 acres of freshwater emergent wetlands. The area had been managed as a semi permanently flooded freshwater reserve for many years with no drawdown, resulting in decreased habitat quality and food resources for waterfowl. Two new water-control structures and 15,000 linear feet of internal ditching now facilitate periodic drawdowns for more effective vegetation management.

The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly WMA serves as regionally significant brood-rearing habitat for wood ducks, as well as a source of great public hunting opportunities with an emphasis on youth hunter recruitment.

Partners: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Ducks Unlimited
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