Tag Archives: conservation

Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon Paddle, 2023-01-06

Join us for our first leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle of 2023, on Banks Lake, our mini-Okefenokee just west of Lakeland, Georgia.

If you need a boat, reserve in advance! See below.

When: Gather 4:45 PM, launch 5:15 PM, moonrise 5:29 PM, sunset 5:46 PM, end 6:30 PM, Friday, January 6, 2023
You must arrive enough before the launch time to hear the safety lecture.

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County, on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

[Banks Lake sunset, 2022-01-17 Photo: John S. Quarterman]
Banks Lake sunset, 2022-01-17 Photo: John S. Quarterman

Continue reading

Unacceptable risk to mine near the Okefenokee Swamp –U.S. Interior Secretary Haaland 2022-12-07

She finally said what she did not say when she toured the Okefenokee Swamp back in September.

You can also tell the state of Georgia to stop the proposed strip mine far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, above the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink.

[Interior Secretary Haaland in the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-16 Photo: Shannon Estenoz and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]
Interior Secretary Haaland in the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-16 Photo: Shannon Estenoz and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Russ Bynam, AP in the AJC, 7 December 2022, Interior secretary: `Unacceptable’ to mine near famed swamp,

A member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is urging Georgia officials to deny permits for a proposed mine near the edge of the famed Okefenokee Swamp and its vast wildlife refuge

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is urging Georgia officials to deny permits for a proposed mine near the edge of the famed Okefenokee Swamp and its vast wildlife refuge, saying the plan poses “unacceptable risk” to the swamp’s fragile ecology.

“I write to express Continue reading

Georgia and Florida in 1923 Atlas of the World and Gazeteer 1923-01-01

Back in 1923, Georgia and Florida looked about the same in this Atlas, until you notice, where’s I-75 and I-10? Where are all the roads? Nowhere: those lines are railroads.

Many railroad towns such as Ellaville and Genoa in Florida and Dupont and Haylow in Georgia are depicted, when they aren’t anymore on maps of this scale. Troupville is long gone, because it moved to Valdosta where the railroad was coming: the Atlantic Coast Line, labeled “A.C.L.”, later plus two others, “G.S.”, presumably Georgia Southern, and “G.S.F.”, presumably Georgia Southern and Florida.

[South Georgia and North Florida]
South Georgia and North Florida

Amusingly, the Florida map names and draws “Okefinokee Swamp” in Georgia, but the Georgia map does not. The Georgia map shows a couple of lakes instead. Continue reading

Video: Unite for Clean Water Kickoff 2022-12-01

Floridians, please sign the petition to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot for the Right to Clean and Healthy Water.

Last week the organizers held a webinar to explain how they plan to get enough signatures to trigger the necessary Florida Supreme Court review.

[Unite for Clean Water Kickoff]
Unite for Clean Water Kickoff

We know WHY we need a constitutional amendment to establish a fundamental right to clean and healthy waters.

We know WHAT it says and WHAT it does.

Now, join us as we present HOW like-minded Floridians will #UniteForCleanWater in the next three months to achieve our petition signature objectives by March 1st, 2023.

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/dyLR3gTKkDkdti2w5

Learn more here: www.FloridaRightToCleanWater.org

Here is the video: Continue reading

SRWMD Lands to reject conservation easement offer on Withlacoochee River 2022-12-13

One item on the Lands Committee agenda seems slightly different from business as usual at the $68 million-annual-budget Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).

[Agenda and Stafford Tract, SRWMD Lands, 2022-12-13]
Agenda and Stafford Tract, SRWMD Lands, 2022-12-13

As near as I can tell, even though this offer checks almost all the boxes, SRWMD doesn’t want to deal with it because it adjoins Suwannee River State Park (SRSP), while it’s across the Withlacoochee River from the SRWMD-owned land in the Twin Rivers State Forest Ellaville Tract. So SRWMD has sent the landowner to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

If you want to attend, it’s Tuesday December 13, 2022, at District Headquarters, or via gotowebinar. The Board meets at 9AM, and the Lands Committee meets afterwards, usually around noon. Continue reading

Ellaville Tract, Twin Rivers State Forest 2022-12-04

Turns out there are two Withlacoochee River landings inside the Ellaville Tract of the Twin Rivers State Forest.

One I’m calling Ellaville Landing, and it’s the last place to take out before Melvin Shoals.

The other, google maps calls Withlacoochee River Campsite, and it’s only a mile or so upstream from Suwannacoochee Spring.

If you have better names, locations, etc. for either of these, please let everybody know.

[Map: Landings in Ellaville Tract in WLRWT]
Map: Landings in Ellaville Tract in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

The Ellaville Tract is actually owned by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), whose map of it reveals when you mouse over Ellaville Landing: Continue reading

Pictures: Knights Ferry to Nankin Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2022-12-03

We got the big trash jam and discovered an even bigger one, on the Trashjam cleanup, Knights Ferry to Nankin, Withlacoochee River 2022-12-03.

[Banners, trash, river]
Banners, trash, river

Thanks to the eight people who came, and to Russell Allen McBride for organizing. We also saw posts of the old Knight Bridge sticking up in the river, some interesting plants, two dead deer, and a Great Blue Heron. Plus a creek that wasn’t on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Wate Trail. And rocks. Many rocks.

Thanks to the two Valdosta city officials who did RSVP that they couldn’t. Don’t worry, we’ll be doing it again, with more advance notice. Pencil in Saturday, December 17th, for now.

This is mostly legacy trash from past years, now that the Sugar Creek Watergoat is catching much of it. But there’s more coming out of Three Mile Branch, and it’s still Valdosta’s responsibility even when it washes down the river, just like spilled sewage is Valdosta’s responsibility.

How do we know it’s Valdosta trash? Here’s some new evidence.

This was in the first big trash jam. Michael’s Deli has been closed since December 24, 2021, but it sat right on One Mile Branch, and its styrofoam cups washed down Sugar Creek into the Withlacoochee River. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2022-12-01

Little rain, no new sewage spills reported, and good test results: happy swimming, fishing, and boating this weekend!

Maybe you’d like to join us on the WWALS Trashjam cleanup, Knights Ferry to Nankin, Withlacoochee River 2022-12-03.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide map]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide map 2022-12-01

We all took last week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, since there was no rain that week. Except thanks to Suzy Hall for testing Knights Ferry and Nankin last Saturday. She got very low E. coli.

Valdosta got high results at US 41 three times and most recently at GA 133 on Monday, which is the most recent date for which Valdosta has published results. While that contamination has probably washed downstream and gotten diluted by now, we have no more recent results for that location. There’s not enough water to boat there, anyway. Continue reading

In-progress Langdale Park trail map @ VLPRA 2022-12-01

VLPRA did find an old map of Langdale Park trails. While I was there yesterday, Jeff drew on it the location of bridges he is repairing right now. I did not take a photograph because it is obviously a work in progress.

[John S. Quarterman, Jessica Catlett, the Map, Jeff, George Page, VLPRA sign]
John S. Quarterman, Jessica Catlett, the Map, Jeff, George Page, VLPRA sign

They are also working on designs for new trail signs, as well as for a kiosk at the pavilion and some other informational signs at several other points. They like the WWALS z-fold water trail brochures, and they plan to do one somewhat similar. They are aware of the Georgia Recrational Trails Program (RTP), which grants federal funds for trails just like these, but they don’t want to wait on writing a grant proposal and seeing if they get it: they’re fixing up the Langdale Park trails right now.

Most of the trail names that Phillip Williams and Bobby McKenzie have deduced are correct, but Continue reading

Individual Langdale Park Trails 2022-12-01

Update 2022-12-02: In-progress Langdale Park trail map @ VLPRA 2022-12-01.

Had some discussions with Bobby McKenzie and Phillip Williams about the names of the Trails at Langdale Park. Much of this is still tentative, but I’ve added names to the WWALS map derived from Phillip’s map.

[Example trails in Langdale Park --Phillip Williams]
Example trails in Langdale Park –Phillip Williams

Here are images of each trail, with links into the WWALS WLRWT map for that trail.

You can pan and zoom in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail,

We are all ears for corrections, suggestions, additions, etc.

No doubt George Page and Jessica Catlett at Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) will organize integrating all this information into their own VLPRA map, which I hear does exist.

Meanwhile, for the WWALS map, remember: Continue reading