Monthly Archives: December 2014

Landowner on Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County FL moves to intervene against Sabal Trail –Chris Mericle

Drilling under the Withlacoochee River could have catastrophic effects, a landowner near the Withlacoochee River in Hamilton County, Florida reminds us. Chris Mericle is also a WWALS board member.

Intervenor is a resident of Hamilton County, Florida and lives near the Proposed Sabal Trail Route where it crosses the Withlacoochee River. As such, I am concerned about the adverse and potentially catastrophic effects that the construction and operation of a 36” diameter gas pipeline will have on Fresh Water Resources including Springs and the Floridan Aquifer.

Here’s how you or your organization can file a motion to intervene.

Filed with FERC 22 December 2014 as Accession Number: 20141222-5037, “Motion to Intervene of Christopher J Mericle under CP15-17, et. al.” Continue reading

Property rights, agriculture, karst limestone, Withlacoochee River –Don Thieme to FERC about Sabal Trail pipeline

Last in before FERC closed 5PM Wednesday for the holidays was local geologist Don Thieme, commenting about our Withlacoochee River and the fragile karst limestone that underlies it, among other concerns. It’s likely that FERC will continue accepting comments and motions to intervene after yesterday’s deadline.

Filed with FERC 24 December 2014 as Accession Number: 20141224-5109 “Comment of Donald M. Thieme in Docket(s)/Project(s) CP15-17-000 Submission Date: 12/24/2014”,

Donald M. Thieme, Valdosta, GA.

As a local resident and head of household in Lowndes County, I have concerns about the rights of landowners to continue agriculture and other economically productive uses which may be incompatible with the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline. I have also heard many concerns voiced regarding loss of property value, particularly where new pipe may be laid on land which presently has no existing line. As a professional geologist, however, Continue reading

WWALS moves to intervene with FERC about Sabal Trail pipeline

This legal action should reserve the right of WWALS to participate in legal hearings, file briefs on legal actions by others, or even to bring legal action. In addition to all the county and city resolutions listed here, Hamilton County, Florida also just moved to intervene.

Filed with FERC 16 December 2014 as Accession Number: 20141216-5051, “Motion to intervene and request for extension of filing deadline, by WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. under CP15-17.” Continue reading

1970s Canoe Trail FAQ

The rivers may be the same, but technology and the cast of characters have changed, as indicated by this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list from the 1970s. The acronym FAQ hadn’t been invented yet, for that matter.

This Canoe Trail FAQ is courtesy of John Leonard, Executive Director of the Southe Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC). I’ve added some links and clarifications.


  1. 300x388 One typewritten page, in 1970s Canoe Trail FAQ, by John S. Quarterman, for, 0  1979 Days to float entire trail (Alapaha) 4 days-normal water; (Withlacoochee) 3 days-normal water.

    That’s for the 83 miles of the 1970s Alapaha Canoe Trail brochures, and the 65 miles of the 1970s Canoe Guide to the Withlacoochee River Trail brochures. Those distances are shorter than the current Continue reading

Not in our county, state, or aquifer: Valdosta votes against Sabal Trail pipeline tonight

Tonight at 5:30 PM the Valdosta City Council will vote on a resolution against the Sabal Trail pipeline they discussed Tuesday at their Work Session. Valdosta added a clause about the Floridan Aquifer to the clauses already in the resolution Lowndes County passed Tuesday evening that Valdosta is supporting. Valdosta’s aquifer clause reads:

WHEREAS, the City of Valdosta has concerns regarding any potential effect the proposed pipeline or its construction might have on the Floridan aquifer, the primary source of the drinking water supply for our City, County and the south Georgia area; and

As VSU Prof. Don Thieme remarked yesterday, Continue reading

Alapaha River @ GA 135, Berrien County south of Willacoochee

Update 2020-09-07: This location is now known as Nashville Landing.

300x210 There is a long sandy beach upstream from the bridge, which is a popular summer hangout for locals., in GA 135 Alapaha River access, by Bret Wagenhorst, for, 14 September 2014 There is a long sandy beach upstream from the bridge, which is a popular summer hangout for locals.

Bret Wagenhorst took these pictures 14 September 2014.

See also Alapaha River Water Trail. Continue reading

Alapaha River access at Riverside Church

300x229 Riverside Church, in Alapaha River access at Riverside Church, by Bret Wagenhorst, 14 September 2014 Nine miles south of Willacoochee on GA 135 and twelve miles east of Nashville on GA 76, which turns into Riverside Road as it crosses GA 135, is this traditional put-in for the Alapaha River. However, it is not clear that access is public, so we can’t recommend it unless that is clarified. Continue reading

Canoeing Guide to the Withlacoochee River c. 1979

300x327 Map, in Canoe Guide to the Withlacoochee River Trail, by John S. Quarterman, for, 0  1979 Including both Florida and Georgia, a second river got map and guide attention back in the 1970s. To be updated in the Withlacoochee River Water Trail.

This Withlacoochee River guide is courtesy of John Leonard, Executive Director of the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC).


I would speculate that it is the most recent of the three guides posted thus far, because the Continue reading

Little Alapaha River

Probably the least-known tributary of the Alapaha River, the Little Alapaha River is so shy it disappears underground between Jennings and Jasper, Florida.

The Little Alapaha River arises in Echols County, Georgia, just before it flows into Hamilton County, Florida, where it falls into a sinkhole west of Jasper, briefly reappearing before vanishing again. Theoretically it is a tributary of the Alapaha River, but it is not clear the waters of the Little Alapaha River ever reach the Alapaha River aboveground. Like the Alapaha River, the Little Alapaha’s sinkhole disappearance happens at the Cody Scarp. Chris Graham found this very interesting reference, Continue reading

Cleanup on Alapaha River near Jasper, FL: WWALS Outing 2014-12-20

The December WWALS Outing is a cleanup on the Alapaha River on private land near Jasper, Hamilton County, Florida, at 10AM Saturday December 20th 2014. This is an area of the river people boat past on the Alapaha River Water Trail.

Update 2015-01-26: Some pictures.

Most WWALS outings are open to the public. However, since this one is on private land, WWALS membership is required, and please contact for directions. Also please bring gloves, bags, and warm clothes. The landowner will provide lunch.

If you’re not a WWALS member, you can join online or mail in a membership form with a check.