The Save Oaky Woods organization was founded in June 2007 by John Trussell - an outdoor writer, Oaky Woods supporter & lifelong resident of Houston County. Previously he was instrumental in working with the Houston County Commissioners in establishing the Ocmulgee River boat Ramp at Highway 96 (now called Knowles Landing). Past Commission Chairman Jay Walker and County Operations Manager Tommy Stalnaker worked tirelessly on this project along with the Houston county Commissioners to improve access to the Ocmulgee River for outdoorsmen and emergency rescue operations. More recently, Trussell was named to the Houston County State Park Committee by then Representative Larry Walker that worked to locate a suitable location for the proposed state park. That effort, with the aid of many local citizens for many years ,along with Represenatives Larry O'Neal, Willie Talton, State Senators Ross Tolleson, Cecil Staton and Governor Sonny Perdue, resulted in the successful establishment of the Flat Creek Public Fishing Area, a work in progress that will hopefully become a state park.
The Save Oaky Woods organization is a part of the Georgia River Network and the Central Georgia Rivers Partnership Group (CGRP), which was founded in 2005, with the main emphasis being on the Ocmulgee , Oconee and Altamaha Rivers and their adjacent drainage areas. Frank Peterman, Atlanta Office Manager for the Wilderness Society, also serves as leader for the CGRG and his efforts are very much appreciated. Trussell has served the CGRG as lead person on the Oaky Woods and Ocmulgee Wildlife Management Area efforts. In June 2007 he saw the need for a more localized citizen effort to promote the preservation of Oaky Woods WMA and a possible associated local bond issue to raise funds for the purchase of Oaky Woods WMA, which lead to the formation of the "Save Oaky Woods" group. The CGRP sponsored the "Paddle Georgia" trip down the Ocmulgee River during the summer of 2007 and funds from that event have helped to fund the Save Oaky Woods bumper stickers and this website.
Save Oaky Woods Leadership
John Trussell - Organizer, Outdoor Writer
Chief Probation Officer, Houston Superior Court, Georgia Dept of Corrections (retired)
Alex Morrow - Treasurer
President, Straight Arrow Archery Club
Chief Magistrate Judge, Houston County
Tuggle & O'Neal Insurance
Dr. Dan Fussell
Internal medicine- retired
Ducks Unlimited volunteer
Regional Fisheries Biologist, Georgia Dept of Natural Resources (retired)
Regional Game Biologist, Georgia Dept of Natural Resources (retired)
Warner Robins conservationist
USAF (retired), naturalist
Registered Forester, Weyerhaeuser Corporation
Warner Robins Conservationist
Houston County Health Dept, retired
Manager, Houston County Water Treatment
Archaeologist, Secretary- Ocmulgee Archaeological Society
Manager, Oaky woods WMA (retired)
Dr. Bob Sargent
President, Georgia Ornithological Society and Wildlife Biologist
Chuck's Bait & Tackle
Administrator, Houston Medical Center (retired)
The Save Oaky Woods steering committee brings expertise, experience and a positive committment to preserve Oaky Woods for future generations!
The CGRP is working to ensure a clean water legacy by engaging and empowering Georgians to protect and restore our rivers from the mountains to the coast. They hope to increase the number of people involved in the protection and management of Georgia's waters and improve awareness of the issues that threaten the health of our waters. Other goals of the CGRP is to establish infrastructure for the exchange of resources among parties working to improve the protection of Georgia's waters. The CGRP will help to protect and restore our rivers to their greatest potential as vital resources of the state. We envision natural, free flowing rivers with a rich array of native species, protected buffers, and public access. Our rivers should be free from pollution, such that all of our rivers are classified as fishable and swimmable. The healthy river ecosystem should be recognized and valued in its own right, in addition to the recognition that healthy rivers provide a valuable economic asset through recreation, tourism, and other ecosystem functions. In addition, our rivers should be aesthetically appealing in all parts of the state.
Georgia River Network is becoming the first contact for citizens seeking to protect and restore the streams and rivers within their communities. Georgia River Network will undertake an aggressive effort toward building a truly integrated statewide network and will be the voice for concerns that transcend watersheds.