low water level

Paynes Prairie Dries Up

Matt Bledsoe, assistant park manager at Paynes Prairie State Preserve, explains the various issues facing park staff due to a lack of rainfall in the past year.The Gainesville region received no heavy tropical systems in summer 2011, Bledsoe said, which has strongly contributed to the ongoing drought and wildfire conditions at Paynes Prairie. The dry conditions have inhibited the staff’s ability to conduct prescribed fires and have also sent the gators north toward Newnans Lake.

Additional alligator photos courtesy of Matt Bledsoe.