3,068 acres of land are now protected by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in Wheeler County. All of that land now makes up the Alligator Creek Wildlife Management Area. DNR, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, bought the land near Lumber City.

“I never realized there was as much diversity on a sand ridge as there was until I moved out here and got to watch it year after year,” David Livingston said.

He owns a house next to the newly-protected land.

“One of the previous owners had already put some long leaf (pine trees) back in,” Livingston said. “The Gopher Tortoise, you see plenty of them, my wife saw one yesterday about the size of a silver dollar.”

In addition to seeing those species and others, visitors will be able to hunt on the land during statewide hunting seasons.

“I've gotten some good turkeys and some decent deer. I don’t think I've ever got a deer that I mounted, but there was some good deer,” Livingston said.

He hopes that others get to enjoy the place he’s treasured most of his life.

“I’ve been so fortunate to be able to be on it, and it will be good to see some other people be able to enjoy it,” Livingston said.

The Alligator Creek Wildlife management area is on Highway 19, just before you get to Lumber City in Wheeler County.