Coles Creek Land and Timber Company
Coles Creek Land and Timber Company (Coles Creek) is located approximately ten miles north of Natchez, Mississippi across the river from Waterproof, Louisiana. This 1,355 acre tract is located in a strategic area of the Mississippi Flyway. Approximately 500 acres were reforested to bottomland hardwoods in March 2001.
The owners of Coles Creek are striving to provide a diversity of habitat types to ensure that the needs of all animals, not just waterfowl, are met. Their restoration is providing for the habitat needs of threatened and endangered species like the least tern and Louisiana Black Bear, migratory bird species such as the prothonotary warbler and resident wildlife species including turkey, squirrel and white-tailed deer.
One natural moist soil impoundment and one deep-water area is maintained on the Coles Creek property. The shallow-water impoundment provides habitat for a variety of shorebirds, waterfowl and aquatic and amphibious species like turtles, frogs and crayfish. This management will benefit a variety of shore and wading birds as well as waterfowl. The deep water area offers alligators complete protection from human depredation and disturbance. In 2001 the landowners undertook an extensive nest box program for wood ducks and prothonotary warblers.
This restoration project of the Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is restoring migration and winter habitat for neotropical songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl species. It is restoring habitat for resident wetland wildlife and fish species and improving water quality. The project will benefit high priority and priority species of waterfowl as well as other high priority and priority species including plovers, kites, sandpipers, godwits, warblers, bitterns, rails, terns, sparrows and wrens.
Members use the property as they have from the time they purchased it. The easement prohibits clearcutting trees or draining wetlands on the property, but oil and gas exploration, drilling and production are permitted. The members may build hunting blinds and maintain roads to reach them, but any other development is restricted.
Coles Creek Land and Timber Company donated the easement to benefit their property's bottomlands for wildlife and future members. Jeff Clark, a member of the club says, "We gave the easement because we love Coles Creek. We know that areas of this type tend to disappear if they are not protected. This is one of the few bottomland hardwood areas of its size and quality in Southwest Mississippi."