Category Archives: History

Dave Pharr singing Care For the Waters @ Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2018-06-23

David B. Pharr sang this Traditional Folk song, “Care For the Waters,” at the First Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Saturday, June 23, 2018, at the Salty Snapper, Valdosta, GA.

David B. Pharr

As he sang about the Suwannee and the other rivers: “And you may cross my bridges, But you’ll never get over me.”

Here’s the video: Continue reading

Benefits must outweigh harms –WWALS to FERC Re: Pipeline Certification NOI 2018-07-25

Here’s the WWALS response to FERC’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI) about “Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Facilities”. A few excerpts:

FERC should approve no more pipelines without comparing not just coal plants to natural gas plants, but also comparing sun and wind power. If that means no more pipelines, so be it….

In one of the most egregious cases, Sabal Trail commenced construction on the land of the Bell Brothers in Mitchell County, Georgia, and when they countersued, Continue reading

A week on the Withlacoochee River in June?

Somebody asked recently whether it is possible to paddle a week on the Withlacoochee River in Georgia in June. Sure, as long as you start not too far upstream on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT), you can paddle past shoals and little-known Georgia springs into the Florida springs heartland, and then continue a day or two on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT). WWALS has paddled many of the most interesting stretches multiple times, often in June.

Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous
Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous

Here’s some history of the Withlacoochee River: fishing weirs, shoals, ghost towns, and springs.

Here is a list of access points on the Withlacoochee River with recommended water levels.

Troupville Boat Ramp, Hahira GA 122 Little River Gauge, 137-144′ NAVD88

Your first put in will actually be on the Little River, slightly upstream from its confluence, at Troupville Boat Ramp.

27 April 2016, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 70.9′ (140.6′ NAVD88).
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) fixed the Troupville access road back in April 2016.

Boatramp
Photo: Julie Bowland

21 April 2018, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 7.2′ (140′ NAVD88).
WWALS did a cleanup at Troupville, in which you can see our water trail signs. See also some history of Troupville, the previous county seat of Lowndes County, Georgia.

Scouts and all, Sign
At Troupville Boat Ramp, by the signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) that Phil Hubbard planted yesterday (2018-04-20).

Georgia Springs on the Withlacoochee River

Three of the six second-magnitude springs in Georgia used to be in Brooks County, Georgia, before somebody apparently tried to Continue reading

WWALS clean sweep at site of old Troupville, GA 2018-04-21

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, April 23, 2018 — Fifty children and adults helped WWALS clean up the site of old Troupville Saturday, with permission and thanks from the landowner where that former Lowndes County seat goes down to the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, just west of Valdosta.

Cleanup leader WWALS member Bobby McKenzie said:

We met at the signs for safety/execution briefing. I was able to talk about the signs and water trail to 50 folks and when I asked who knew about the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers and being able to kayak them, only 2 folks were aware. Now 50 more folks are aware…and half were kids…but some of the best kind of kids…Boy and Girl Scouts!

Scouts and all, Sign
Photo: Bobby McKenzie for WWALS 2018-04-21, at Troupville Boat Ramp, by the WWALS signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) that Phil Hubbard planted 2018-04-20.

Landowner Helen Tapp, whose family LLC gave permission for this cleanup, added:

What a fabulous turn-out of Earth Day workers! Thank you so much for Continue reading

Canoeing from the Little to the Chee by Burt Kornegay 2018-03-24

Received April 6, 2018, posted with permission. -jsq

When I called the Canoe Outpost on the Suwannee River in Florida to ask if they would give me a shuttle up to the Little River at Reed Bingham State Park, in Georgia, the woman on the other end said, “You want to start up there?” I told her my plan was to canoe the Little River from where it left Reed Bingham down to its confluence with the Withlacoochee, then follow the Withlacoochee to the Suwannee. “I’ve worked here 27 years,” she exclaimed, “and this might be the first!”

Spotted, Arriving
Photo: Kathy Hubbard of Burt Kornegay arriving at Troupville Boat Ramp, March 24, 2018.

It turns out that, although many paddlers ply the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee with their blades, the adjective “little” in the name Little River means, in part, little paddled.

I’d had this trip in mind for years, and one reason lies in that Continue reading

Troupville Cleanup, Little River, 2018-04-21

By permission of the landowners, WWALS will be cleaning up the site of Troupville, the previous county seat of Lowndes County, Georgia. Its nineteenth-century residents picked up everything and moved it when Valdosta was founded, so there’s not much to see but beautiful riverfront, in Between the Rivers LLC, down to the confluence of the Little River with the Withlacoochee River. Unfortunately, there is trash, which we will clean up. We hope to have some history experts explaining what used to be there.

This cleanup is in conjunction with Keep Lowndes Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB) The Great American Cleanup, and is part of Waterkeeper® Alliance Cleanup Week.

When: 8:30 AM – Noon, Saturday, April 21, 2018

Gather at: Troupville Boat Ramp, 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602: on GA 133 off I-75 exit 18.
Park here to walk to the cleanup site.
No boat required, but if you want to bring a boat, you can put in here and paddle back.

GPS: 30.85131, -83.34743

Bring: Cleanup materials will be provided, but if you’ve got a trash picker, bring it along.

Free: This outing is free to everyone. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Lowndes County parcel 0057 003, Between the Rivers LLC
Site of Troupville at the confluence of the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers, Lowndes County parcel 0057 003, Between the Rivers LLC

Continue reading

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west. You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee. Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer.


Irwin County, 1885a, GeorgiaInfo, Rand McNally Map of Georgia, 1885

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12., quoted in Ray City History Blog, 18 October 2010, More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River,

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.

VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges Continue reading

Sabal Trail is shut down while DC Circuit Court delays again 2018-03-08

Sabal Trail is already shut down, while the DC Circuit Court delays its mandate to shut it down.

This month 2018-03-01 - 2018-03-09, Graphs
This month 2018-03-01 – 2018-03-09: Graphs by WWALS from Sabal Trail’s own FERC-required Informational postings.

Here’s the problem:

Courts rarely block pipelines, even if regulators are found to have fallen short of the National Environmental Policy Act, and they have never halted a pipeline for inadequate climate review.

It’s long past time to get the clammy grip of fossil fuels off not only Congress and the agencies, but also off the courts.

Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E News, 8 March 2018, Shutdown averted for Sabal Trail pipeline, Continue reading

Pipeline opposition rebuts wild-eyed Congressional distractions 2018-03-08

The headline would read better in this order: “Congressional Committee trolls energy policy.”

Suwannee Riverkeeper John Quarterman… said the science committee’s chairman, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was making “wild-eyed attempts to divert from the misdeeds of his patron, the fossil fuel industry.”

Steve Patterson, Jacksonville.com, 8 March 2018, Congress: Russians trolled Florida pipeline debate,

Efforts by Russian internet trolls to destabilize the U.S. energy industry reached all the way to Florida and the controversy over construction of the Sabal Trail gas pipeline, according to a Congressional report.

For my previous takedown of that report, see Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians.

And if the Russians were behind me spotting from the air this frac-out of Sabal Trail drilling mud up into the Withlacoochee River in Georgia, they’re way behind in their payments.

Turbidity curtains and black pipe from the north bank
View from the south bank of Sabal Trail turbidity curtains and pipe from the north bank of the Withlacoochee River, about 2000 feet upstream from the US 84 bridge.
Photo: John S. Quarterman, October 22nd 2016.

Maybe I should send that Committee a bill Continue reading

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: Continue reading