New Features Provide Easy Access to a Variety of Alabama’s Outdoor Wonders

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources encourages residents and visitors to experience Alabama's outdoor wonders. With a newly enhanced Web site offering tools including a new interactive state map and a virtual tours section, visitors easily search through a variety of outdoor destinations, unique landmarks and other Alabama attractions.

Wildlife Management Areas, public fishing lakes, handicapped accessible hunting and fishing trails, birding trails, and other wildlife viewing areas are highlighted in the new interactive map. Visitors can easily navigate through the map by using zoom and map scroll tools and then can print the state map with details of the specific locations selected by clicking on the "print" button. The 360-degree virtual tours give a look at various outdoor destinations across the state including Oak Mountain State Park, Gulf Shores beach and Cathedral Caverns.

"The new tools give Alabama residents and potential visitors the opportunity to learn more about our state parks and other outdoor attractions," says Barnett Lawley, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner. "Visitors can now access the latest information and plan a great getaway for the entire family at just the click of the mouse."

The Outdoor Alabama Web site launched in March 2004 and has had more than 4.5 million unique visitors. With 2006 being declared The Year of Outdoor Alabama by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel in partnership with the Department of Conservation, this number is expected to rise. The virtual tours can also be found by logging onto the Bureau of Tourism's Web site at www.800alabama.com.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes the statewide stewardship and enjoyment of Alabama's natural resources to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy them. The department also advises the state government on management of freshwater fish, wildlife, marine resources, waterway safety, state lands, state parks and other natural resources. This includes the administration, management and maintenance of 22 state parks, 23 public fishing lakes, three freshwater fish hatcheries, 34 wildlife management areas, two waterfowl refuges, three nature centers, two wildlife sanctuaries, a mariculture center with 35 ponds and 645,000 acres of trust lands. Other departmental functions include maintenance of a State Land Resource Information Center and administration of the Forever Wild land-acquisition program.