Okefenokee Announces Fee-Free Weekend in Honor of U.S. Veterans and Armed Forces

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge will participate in a fee-free weekend from Friday, November 11 to Sunday, November 13, in recognition of Veterans Day. All day-use entrance fees will be waived to the East entrance southwest of Folkston and the West entrance at Stephen C. Foster State Park.

On the east side, over the Veterans Day weekend there will be a photo workshop on Saturday and Sunday and a guided interpretive tour of the Chesser Island Homestead on Saturday from 2-3 p.m. Call the visitor center at (912) 496-7836 to register for the photo workshop or for more information. Tours, canoe and kayak rentals from Okefenokee Adventures are excellent ways to explore the swamp this time of year.

On the west side of the refuge, Stephen C. Foster State Park rangers are offering a sunset tour on Billy’s Lake on Saturday from 7- 8:30 p.m. Call (912) 637- 5274 for details.

Fees for camping at Stephen C. Foster State Park and specialized services, including boat tours, will not be waived. Wilderness campsites continue to be closed due to low water levels and damage from the Honey Prairie Fire. The east entrance is located about 11 miles southwest of Folkston, Georgia, off Highway 121. The west entrance is located outside of Fargo off Highway 177. For more information, please contact the visitor center at 912- 496-7836.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

The Service manages the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 552 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas.

It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 65 fishery resources offices and 86 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts.

It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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