Tag Archives: Georgia

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west.

[Withlacoochee River labeled Suwanee R. in 1823 Irwin and 1834 Lowndes County maps; current WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail map]
Withlacoochee River labeled Suwanee R. in 1823 Irwin and 1834 Lowndes County maps; current WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail map

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. Continue reading

Pictures: WWALS at Brooks County Skillet Fest 2023-10-21

It was a good time at the WWALS booth at the Brooks County Skillet Festival.

[Collage @ Brooks County Skillet Festival 2023-10-21]
Collage @ Brooks County Skillet Festival 2023-10-21

Thanks to Jan Powell, Kimberly Tanner, and her Brazilian exchange student for assisting WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman at the WWALS booth.

Quitman is on Okapilco Creek, which runs into the Withlacoochee River. The Withlacoochee, and, upstream, the Little River form the east border of Brooks County with Lowndes County.

There are more pictures below.

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see Continue reading

WWALS at Brooks County Skillet Fest 2023-10-21

Food and fun in a park. Maybe you’d like to help at the WWALS booth, at the Brooks County Skillet Festival.

[Fog on the Little River at Miller Bridge, WWALS Booth, Skillet Festival 2022-10-15]
Fog on the Little River at Miller Bridge, WWALS Booth, Skillet Festival 2022-10-15

When: 9 AM, Saturday, October 21, 2023

Put In: Brooks County Courthouse, 100 Screven Street, Quitman, Georgia 31643

GPS: 30.785667, -83.559660 Continue reading

Pictures: Brooks County Skillet Fest 2022-10-15

It was a fun time last year at the Brooks County Skillet Festival at the courthouse in Quitman, Georgia.

[Skillet Fest, WWALS Booth, fog on the Little River at Miller Bridga 2022-10-15]
Skillet Fest, WWALS Booth, fog on the Little River at Miller Bridga 2022-10-15

Thanks to Amy and Doug Jackson and Sara Jay Jones and everyone else who helped Gretchen Quarterman at the WWALS booth.

Skillet Fest is back this weekend, Saturday, October 21, 2023. Y’all come! Continue reading

Videos: Quarterman Road rezoning unanimously denied @ LCC 2023-09-12

Update 2023-09-26: Curious omissions from the minutes; see Packet: Golf carts, mental health, wetland credits, regional transit, Lift Station and Fire Station Access Roads, 2 TIA Road Bids @ LCC 2023-09-25.

The Lowndes County Commission unanimously denied the inappropriate 2.5-acre rezoning proposed on minimum 5-acre and predominantly agriculture, forestry, and conservation Quarterman Road, after five local residents spoke against and nobody for.

[Collage, Quarterman Road rezoning denied by Lowndes County Commission 2023-09-12]
Collage, Quarterman Road rezoning denied by Lowndes County Commission 2023-09-12

Thanks to all who signed the petition against that rexoning, who called or wrote County Commissioners, who spoke in the Planning Commission or County Commission meetings, and thanks to the County Commisisoners for denying the rezoning.

Among the five who spoke at the County Commission were Gretchen Quarterman (who also took the videos for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE)) and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman (details on both are below). He made sure the Commissioners had a copy of the WWALS letter that had mysteriously been left out of the board packet; thanks to WWALS President Sara Jay Jones for signing that letter.

This denial comes after two previous denials, both also in an Agriculture/Forestry/Conservation Character Area, both also provoking many petition signatures and speakers in opposition, including WWALS.

Maybe developers will get the picture that development is not appropriate in such a Character Area, especially when wetlands and waterways are affected.

County Planner

It is interesting the extent to which a development mindset can color a presentation by a County Planner. I was just going to mention one example of that, but as I listened to the LAKE video of his presentation, I kept noticing more examples. Continue reading

Clinch County Resolution against strip mine, for Okefenokee Swamp 2023-09-11

Yesterday, September 11, 2023, the Clinch County Commission unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp and the Suwannee River against the proposed titanium mine, and set aside $50,000 as cash match for a Dark Sky Observatory next to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR).

[Resolution and Clinch County Commission 2023-09-11]
Resolution and Clinch County Commission 2023-09-11

You can help stop that mine. Ask your city council or county commission to pass a resolution. Here are other things you can do:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

The Clinch County resolution includes:
“7. Request the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to move the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge from a tentative list to become a full UNESCO World Heritage Site, and support a bill by a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress in support of that move.”

As Chairman Henry Moylan remarked, the UNESCO World Heritage List is a big deal, since it goes through the U.N. and includes sites like the Pyramids and the Grand Canyon. Getting ONWR on it should attract more visitors. That list also includes Yellowstone, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, and Everglades National Parks, so it’s a bit puzzling why ONWR is not already on there.

Resolution Against Strip Mine in the Okefenokee Swamp
Resolution Against Strip Mine in the Okefenokee Swamp

Video: https://youtu.be/36S7GqrfdWE

The Dark Sky project involves Continue reading

Chainsaw cleanup, Outings, Boat Ramps, Okefenokee Swamp –Suwannee Riverkeeper @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07

Update 2023-09-12: Clinch County Resolution against strip mine, for Okefenokee Swamp 2023-09-11.

In addition to its usual business of roads and taxes, the Clinch County Commission discussed with Suwannee Riverkeeper outings, boat ramps, and a proposed resolution against the strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

[Collage @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07]
Collage @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07

For the boat ramp, Clinch County can apply to the GA-DNR Recreational Trails Program, Nonmotorized. Andrew Schock, writing for the landowner, The Conservation Fund, sent a letter saying that among the half a dozen possibilities he favors Drawdy Mill Landing on Drawdy Mill Road, which is about half way between Griffis Fish Camp and Fargo Boat Ramp.

For the resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp and the Suwannee River against the proposed strip mine, the Commissioners chose to take another month to read it thoroughly, with a vote next month, which should be 6PM, Monday, September 4, 2023. The resolutions already passed by other cities and counties, including the one passed last week by Echols County, are on the WWALS website. For more about that mine, see
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining

Thanks to Chairman Henry Moylan and the Commissioners for their hospitality, to Clinch County Administrator Jaclyn James for ongoing communications, and to WWALS member Etta Lee for talking to Commissioners and for being at the meeting; also for dinner.

Below are pictures, videos by Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange of the relevant agenda item, and links to documents.

Here is a WWALS video playlist of the relevant LAKE videos.

For the entire meeting, see the LAKE blog post, Videos: Boat Ramps, Okefenokee Swamp, LMIG, Taxes @ Clinch County Commission 2023-08-07.

Continue reading

All nine Riverkeepers of Georgia oppose the mining permit applications by Twin Pines Minerals too near the Okefenokee Swamp 2023-03-09

I sent this at 4:08 PM today to TwinPines.Comment@dnr.ga.gov:

“Please find attached a letter of opposition by all nine Riverkeepers of Georgia to the mining permit applications by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC.”

[GA Riverkeepers letter for Okefenokee Swamp against strip mine 2023-03-09]

See also the letter by Waterkeepers Florida, representing all fifteen Waterkeepers of Florida. It includes links to the letters by Suwannee and St. Marys Waterkeepers.

You can still send in your own comment.

While the comment period on the Mining Land Use Plan nominally closes at 4:30 PM today, that same address has been open for comments for a year or more, and will probably remain open.

Plus GA-EPD has said that if there is a draft permit, they will open another 60-day public comment period.

Meanwhile, all the Waterkeepers of Georgia and Florida oppose that strip mine for white paint, and support the Okefenokee Swamp, the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers, and the Floridan Aquifer.

The GA Riverkeepers letter

The letter is below in web form, or see it as PDF. Continue reading

Please deny Dollar General rezoning, GA 122 @ Skipper Bridge Road –WWALS to Lowndes County 2023-01-23

Update 2023-05-06: Dollar General developer and property owner sue Lowndes County about rezoning denial –VDT 2023-05-03.

Update 2023-01-29: Lowndes County nixes planned Dollar General –VDT 2023-01-26.

Update 2023-01-24: Videos: new attorney, VLDA appointment, Dollar General rezoning, 2 infrastructure, special assessment rate, VOCA @ LCC Work 2023-01-23.

I sent this letter to the Lowndes County Commission today as PDF.

Here’s how you can also ask the Commissioners to deny this rezoning.
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/?p=23351

[Please deny commercial rezoning in agricultural area --WWALS to Lowndes County Commission 2023-01-23]
Please deny commercial rezoning in agricultural area –WWALS to Lowndes County Commission 2023-01-23


January 23, 2023

To: Lowndes County Commission and Staff

Re: REZ-2022-20 for a Dollar General, GA 122 @ Skipper Bridge Road

Please deny the proposed rezoning at GA 122 and Skipper Bridge Road from Estate Agriculture to Crossroads Commercial.

We don’t need more clearcutting, impervious surface, petroleum runoff, and trash, uphill from the Withlacoochee River, setting a precedent for further sprawl into a forestry and agricultural area, costing the county money, and everybody downstream as well.

This rezoning decision affects the entire county and everybody downstream all the way into Florida, for drinking water, flood prevention, wildlife, river water quality, and quality of life. Continue reading

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Cold Moon paddle 2022-12-07

Quite a few happy boaters, on a balmy weekday at an early start time, saw the sun set and the moon already rising, on the Banks Lake Full Cold Moon Paddle.

Thanks to Shirley Kokidko for leading it.

[Banners, Kayak Raffle Winner, Sunset, Moonrise, Banks Lake 2022-12-07]
Banners, Kayak Raffle Winner, Sunset, Moonrise, Banks Lake 2022-12-07

The next one is Friday, January 6, 2023.

Please make your boat reservations in advance. If we know more boats are wanted than the limited number at Banks Lake Outdoors, we can bring more, but not if we don’t know.

And please get there before the safety lecture. If you show up after that, we don’t like to, but we will turn you away. Gather time and paddle time are posted for each paddle outing. The safety lecture is before we paddle. Continue reading