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Gulf State Park will have a prescribed burn in late August

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced that it is planning to have a prescribed burn at Gulf State Park later this month.

The planned prescribed burn at Gulf State Park is a necessary part of a forest management plan associated with longleaf pine restoration, wildfire fuel reduction and invasive species control. The 140-acre burn will take place in a section of the park’s campground between Aug. 18 and Sept. 3, 2020 weather permitting.

Camping reservations are not being accepted for campsites 1 to 123 and sites 469 to 496 during the burn period.

If weather conditions are favorable during the burn period, an additional 110 acres of marsh near the campground might be burned as well to reduce the risk of wildfire in that area. The planned burns will not affect camping reservations for campsites outside of the burn location.

The Alabama Forestry Commission will conduct the prescribed burns for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Parks Division. They assure the public that every effort is being made to ensure safety and proper smoke management during these burns.

Prescribed fire is an effective way to reduce wildfire risk, enhance wildlife habitat and maintain a healthy forest ecosystem. This is especially important in the South Alabama coastal region due to the vegetation type and a longer growing season. The use of prescribed fire enables the Alabama State Parks Division to better manage its parks’ forest resources into the future.

Gulf State Park has two miles of beaches, a spacious campground, a brand new Lodge and Conference Center, Lake Shelby, miles of walking paths, camping sites and a fishing pier that allows anglers to fish out into the ocean for schools of saltwater fish normally accessible only to fishermen with boats. Gulf State Park has gorgeous white sand, surging surf, seagulls, pelicans, restaurants, a pool at the lodge and a variety of activities for the entire family to enjoy.

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Gulf State Park is a destination that Alabamians visit over and over again all year round. Gulf State Park has beaches, hiking, camping, dining, canoeing, a dog park, indoor lodging amenities, freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, educational adventure at the Nature Center as well as new programs starting at the Learning Campus and Interpretive Center.

Gulf State Park is located on the southern end of Baldwin County, fronting the Gulf of Mexico. The Alabama gulf coast is world-renowned for its beaches.

The fishing pier is presently closed for renovation and some facilities may not be available currently due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Alabama State Parks Division relies on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Alabama has 22 state parks across the state available for a variety of entertainment needs. Six of those parks are developed into resorts including Cheaha State Park, DeSoto State Park, Gulf State Park, Joe Wheeler State Park, Lake Guntersville State Park and Lakepoint State Park.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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