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Wildlife Management

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Black Warrior-Tombigbee Project Management Office is one of the largest land managers in West Alabama with miles and miles of land along the banks of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers.

In addition to managing more than 30 public recreational areas, the Demopolis Site Office and Holt Resource Office oversee more than 10,000 acres of timber and wildlife. In managing this property the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Project Management Office maintains several Wildlife Management Policies included below. 

We ask that while visiting Black Warrior-Tombigbee Lakes that you observe all regulations and park guidelines to ensure that we can continue to deliver you a great experience on your future visits to the park.

 

Wildlife Management Practices

Each year Park Rangers conduct midwinter eagle surveys for the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Lakes. The survey is conducted as a part of a nationwide effort to monitor wintering eagle populations in the lower 48 states. The best time for eagle sightings, occur in the winter, when bald eagles migrate into our area from the north. These birds rely on open water areas for hunting and catching fish. Bald eagles often hunt or sit in pairs. They mate for life, although they will take on a new mate should the other die.

Bald Eagle on a Limb

The American bald eagle was officially declared the National Emblem of the United States in 1782 by the Second Continental Congress. They were once common across the continental U.S. Biologists estimate that in the 1700’s, the population may have been as high as half a million birds. However, with the expansion of people across the lower 48 states, bald eagle numbers dropped steadily with the loss of habitat, contamination of waterways and food sources, and extensive use of pesticides on crops.

Bald Eagle on a Limb

In 1967 the bald eagle was listed as “Endangered” in the lower 48 states and was strictly protected under the Bald Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The protection and other conservation efforts paid off. On June 28, 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the bald eagle from the Threatened Species List as the estimated number of nesting pairs in the lower 48 states reached nearly 10,000. Today, population estimates vary but bald eagle numbers are believed to between 80,000 to 100,000 birds, with about half living, breeding, and migrating throughout the lower 48 states.


The US Army Corps of Engineers at Black Warrior & Tombigbee Lakes manages over 10,000 acres of land for timber & wildlife management. One of the methods we use for that purpose are prescribed or controlled burns. The burns are performed by Park Rangers, Maintenance Staff, and sometimes help from State Wildlife Officers.

Ranger with Drip Torch          Ranger with a Drip Torch

Controlled burns are planned well in advance and are dependant on favorable weather conditions. Fire lanes, or the use of road beds, are used to contain the fires and prevent them from spreading from the intended burn areas. Although some smoke is generated during the burns, care is always taken to prevent the smoke from being blown into populated areas.

Walking the Fire Line

Controlled burns are conducted as a proven method of forest and wildlife resource management. Prescribed fires keep hazardous levels of fuel from accumulating, reducing the chance of serious wildfires. The burning will also promote vigorous growth of new understory vegetation such as grasses and forbs important to wildlife for food and protective cover. These fires also help in recycling important nutrients, controlling diseases, and maintaining healthy forest ecosystems.


Wildflowers in a Park          Wildflower in a Park

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages over 10,000 acres of land for timber management and wildlife management opportunities on the Black Warrior & Tombigbee Lakes Project. The Black Belt region of Alabama, where we're located, is a diverse area of dense conifer stands and rolling meadows. Our wildflower program spotlights our regions beauty by coloring our vistas with a wide variety of flowers.

Wildflower in a Park          Wildflower Management Sign

These wildflower fields help reduce long-term maintenance costs, enhance park wildlife habitat, and provides an attractive open-space environment. Maintenance practices within these fields allow annual and perennial wildflowers to prosper and return year after year.


Using the Energy for Wildlife program the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) formed a partnership with Alabama Power, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the local National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Chapter (Marengo County Longbeards) to improve brooding habitat for the Wild Turkey.

Food Plot along Powerline Easement         Ranger checking crop

This effort is taking place on Alabama Power Company easements running through COE land.

Food Plot along Powerline Easement

The project alternates wildlife plots and fallow brood habitat down the easement. These fallow areas are managed to remain at ideal brood heights and the plots are alternated with various cool and warm season plantings. These sites are on four separate easements in two counties (Hale and Greene), all on COE land leased to the Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources. This land is utilized as the David K. Nelson (Demopolis) Wildlife Management Areas and open to public hunting.

Plowed Food Plot         Plowing a Food Plot


The US Army Corps of Engineers manages over 10,000 acres of land for timber management and wildlife management opportunities. Due to the easy access to this land, the Demopolis Site Office works with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to band Wood Ducks in this area.

Banding a Wood Duck

This gives the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Project a very good idea of how many Wood Ducks are using this area and goes hand in hand with our Wood Duck nest box program. Currently we have over 60 boxes up to provide additional nesting habitat throughout the BW&T Project.

Record Duck Information

Banding is a great tool to learn about the duck's migration patterns and if they are returning to familiar nesting sites year after year.

Applying the Band on a Wood Duck


The US Army Corps of Engineers manages over 10,000 acres of land for timber management and wildlife management opportunities. The Demopolis Site Office staff works to provide healthy and safe habitat for Wood Ducks in this area.

Ranger Checking Wood Duck Box          Ranger Check Wood Duck Egg

This gives the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Project a very good idea of how many Wood Ducks are using this area and goes hand in hand with our Wood Duck banding program. Currently we have over 60 boxes up to provide additional nesting habitat throughout the BW&T Project.

Ranger Checking Wood Duck Box          Wood Duck Eggs in a Box