Appreciate the great reporting in the Sun Herald concerning the Mississippi Sandhill Crane.
When I had Boy Scout Troop 232 in Gautier, one of our favorite “to go” trips was to visit the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge. It was a rare sight to spot a Sandhill Crane, but when we did, it was a beautiful sight to see this incredibly tall bird, sometimes standing 4 feet tall, gracefully stalking the savanna grass. The visitors center is also incredibly interesting and the park rangers always seemed to appreciate the visitation. Our Scout Hut was in the field behind the Dixie Girls Softball fields and every so often, a crane would venture into the land that had been granted to us by Jackson County, as it edged the refuge.
Another great local visit was the Fire Tower on Gautier-Vancleave Road. It’s one of the few places you can observe the entire area of Jackson County. There’s a whole lot of steps to climb in that tower. The Sandhill Crane is certainly worthy of saving. With it’s proximity to Interstate 10 and it’s public interest, it seems a rest stop, similar to the one at Stennis Space Center could be envisioned for the future.