Recently Secretary of Agriculture (and former Georgia gov.) Sonny Perdue joined U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Fort Benning Garrison Commander Col. Matthew Scalia at the Columbus-area Army base to celebrate the downlisting of the red-cockaded woodpecker from “endangered” to “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Ft. Benning, along with other military bases in the Southeast, has made an effort to aid in recovery efforts for the bird, which used to thrive across much of the state. Down to just 153 breeding groups in 1998, now Ft. Benning researchers count 412 breeding groups in the area, marking a major success story for an unlikely set of conservationists – the U.S. Army.
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