Volume 42, Number 1
Matt Elliott, GTC Junior Co-Chair
I am very excited to join y’all as the incoming co-chair with Becca Cozad. I have worked with gopher tortoises for many years with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife Resources Division. Currently I am Assistant Chief of Wildlife Conservation, which means I mostly scurry about with other folks’ grant paperwork in hand, but my heart is still in the field. I love doing gopher tortoise surveys and still think I am pretty agile with a burrow cam. The most rewarding part of my work with DNR has been participating in land acquisition and conservation easement projects as part of Georgia’s Gopher Tortoise Conservation Initiative. I feel really fortunate to have been a part of this, and love to show folks around some of the places we have protected.
I am really looking forward to speaking with all of you in our upcoming spring business meeting, and even more to meeting y’all in person at our annual meeting this year, November 10th-13th, 2022 at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center in Freeport, FL!
April 10th is officially Gopher Tortoise Day across all of the 6 southeastern states where you can find gopher tortoises. This day was started with the goal of increasing awareness and appreciation for this unique and important reptile. Keep reading to learn more about how this day was celebrated across different states in 2022.
In April 2022, the Executive Committee of the Gopher Tortoise Council submitted the following comments to the Florida Communities Trust Governing Board Members:
There are many signs of spring in the southeast, and one sure way to know that the weather is warming up is the start of festival season. The subject of these celebrations range from swine to mayhaw, pine trees, and watermelons. For Tortoise Burrow readers, one festival that should draw attention is the Whigham Rattlesnake Roundup. This event focuses on environmental education. In a change from many rattlesnake roundups of the past, this roundup has been reinvigorated as a celebration of serpents.