What is the Oakmulgee Pecker Trekker?

What is the Oakmulgee Pecker Trekker?

It is a 10K and 16K race developed and organized by a University of Alabama Honors College Environmental Research and Advocacy class that is raising monies to support the Nature Conservancy in Alabama’s efforts to protect and save the red-cockaded woodpecker. Hence, the apt name of the event… Pecker Trekker.

Check out the news release below from the Nature Conservancy in Alabama about this event.  But before you read the release, visit Oakmulgee Pecker Trekker Race website and sign up for the April 8th event.

From the Nature Conservancy in Alabama:

University of Alabama Students Flex Their Philanthropic Muscles

The Nature Conservancy in Alabama and Honors College Environmental Research and Advocacy Students Collaborate for Restoration of an Endangered Species

In the heart of Tuscaloosa, students in the Honors College Environmental Research and Advocacy class at The University of Alabama have a bird on the brain, the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis).

Red-cockaded woodpecker
Photo via the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission

To benefit the species, students are hosting a trail run and walk affectionately dubbed the Oakmulgee Pecker Trekker on Saturday, April 8, at 8 am, in the Oakmulgee District of the Talladega National Forest.

Both 10k and 16k routes are available. Proceeds will further The Nature Conservancy in Alabama’s efforts to restore the species.

“We are inspired by the dedication of these students who care so deeply about longleaf pine and the red-cockaded woodpecker,” said Roger W. Mangham, state director of the Conservancy in Alabama.

A keystone species, the red-cockaded woodpecker lives only in mature pine forests in the American Southeast. It provides services for 27 other species, which use red-cockaded woodpecker cavities for their own habitats.” The woodpecker’s habitat has been reduced to only 2 percent of its historic range.

“The goal of the Oakmulgee Pecker Trekker is not only to raise money to fund research and conservation on behalf of the longleaf pine and red-cockaded woodpecker, but also to showcase the beauty of this largely overlooked area of the state”,  said Jack Stewart, a student in the Honors College Environmental Research and Advocacy class at The University of Alabama. “The routes showcase one of the parks most beautiful ridges, as well as the NEON research tower and effects of the 2011 tornadoes that devastated the region.”

 

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.