- Associated Press - Sunday, October 15, 2017

HORTENSE, Ga. (AP) - Georgia officials are celebrating completion of a large land purchase for wildlife conservation near the coast.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the nonprofit Conservation Fund plan a ceremony Monday in coastal Wayne County to mark the state’s final acquisition of more than 19,000 acres that make up the Sansavilla Wildlife Management Area.

The property includes 12 miles (19 kilometers) fronting the Altamaha River and is home to one of the largest populations of rare gopher tortoises in Georgia. It’s open to the public for boating and fishing as well as hunting of deer, turkey and small game.

The Conservation Fund bought the land in 2014 and has been selling it in phases to the state DNR for permanent conservation.

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