Tag Archives: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Okefenokee Swamp watershed boundaries 2015-08-01

Where is the divide in the Okefenokee Swamp between the Suwannee and St. Marys River Basins?

Here are some more maps that do not resolve that question.

For better resolution, advice from a qualified hydrologist is needed.

For reaching the likely divide area by water or land, it appears there are no open paths. Which doesn’t mean it can’t be done, just that it would be difficult.

Meanwhile, you can help stop the proposed titanium strip mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium

[Basins and HUC10s, Okefenokee Swamp]
Basins and HUC10s, Okefenokee Swamp

Thanks to Mike Lusk, Manager of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR), for sending me the Water Resource Inventory and Assessment: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, USFWS, August 2015.

It contains this interesting map of sub-basins of the Okefenokee Swamp, which shows 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

Tickets: Floyd’s Island Okefenokee Camping, 2022-11-19

Update 2022-11-08: Tickets for the Refuge fee:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/okefenokee-paddle-and-floyds-island-camping-tickets-464297485277?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Because of the time change from DST to EST, the sun will set at 5:30 PM, so Shirley has moved the gather and launch times an hour earlier, to “give everyone time to get to Floyd’s and set up camp before it gets dark. Saturday we will be on the water by 9 a.m. so come early enough (8 AM) to have your boat loaded. Remember to have a bow line on your kayak to tie off at Minnie’s Shelter, the only rest stop. It may also come in handy if we have to get out and drag through low spots. If we want a campfire, it helps to carry firewood. I’ll bring some that we can divide up and everyone can carry a piece or two. Sunday will be a leisurely launch time.”

This is primitive, wilderness camping and paddling at its best.

To come on this outing be sure that you are comfortable paddling your loaded boat for 9 miles against a moderate current with only 1 stopping point to get out for a break. Minnie’s Lake platform is the 4 mile lunch stop, then 5 more miles to Floyd’s Island.

Yes, there will be alligators in the heart of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

[Gator and kayak]
Gator and kayak

Continue reading

Camp and paddle at Griffis Fish Camp + Cast Iron Cookout, Suwannee River, 2022-12-02

Join us for 2 nights of rustic camping and cooking at Griffis Fish Camp on the Suwannee River downstream from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refugee. Camping cost is $5.00 per person per night. There is also a $2.00 launch fee for each person. We have the Red Top shelter reserved so you can pitch your tent anywhere in the area. If you need hookup for a camper, you’ll need to reserve your own spot. Bring some firewood if you can. It gets dark early & chilly in December and we’ll enjoy a campfire both nights.

When: Gather 4 PM, launch none, sunset 5:29 PM, end all day, Friday, December 2, 2022
Gather 8:45 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end allday, Saturday, December 3, 2022
Wake up 8 AM, launch whenever you like, end go home, Sunday, December 4, 2022

Put In Friday: Griffis Fish Camp, 10333 Ga Highway 177 Fargo, Georgia 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel 10 miles northeast; Griffis Fish Camp is on left, in Clinch County.

GPS: 30.78246, -82.443594

Take Out Friday: camping

Put In Saturday: Stephen C. Foster State Park Ramp, 17515 GA-177, Fargo, GA 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and travel to Stephen C. Foster State Park, in Charlton County.

GPS: 30.826833, -82.361333

Saturday we’ll launch from Stephen Foster State Park at 9:30 and paddle 7 miles back to Griffis, with a lunch stop at the Sill where we will probably have to portage over. If the water level continues to be low, be prepared to portage your kayak over low spots and deadfall. If you don’t have a Ga. State Park pass or a National Park Pass, there is a fee for parking at SFSP. Ga. State Park passes are also free to borrow from any public library.

Take Out Saturday: Griffis Fish Camp

Back at camp we’ll get the fires going and start cooking. Show us what you can do with your old cast iron! There is no menu, absolutely anything goes. Bring your own plates/bowls/utensils to help reduce waste.

Put In Sunday: Griffis Fish Camp

GPS: 30.78246, -82.443594

Sunday morning will be a leisurely packing up. There is no check out time. If there is interest (and clean pots) maybe we can cook breakfast too. Everyone is free to go back to explore the Okefenokee further before heading home.

Take Out Sunday: Go home

[Cast Iron Cookout, Suwannee River Sill, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Griffis Fish Camp Beach]
Cast Iron Cookout, Suwannee River Sill, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Griffis Fish Camp Beach

Continue reading

Okefenokee poll and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland 2022-09-16

Update 2022-12-08: Unacceptable risk to mine near the Okefenokee Swamp –U.S. Interior Secretary Haaland 2022-12-07.

Update 2022-10-06: GA-DNR Board does not discuss mining near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-27.

Last Friday Interior Secretary Deb Haaland toured to Okefenokee Swamp, along with Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff.

[Deb Haaland at ONWR]
Deb Haaland at ONWR

I was there Continue reading

Floyd’s Island Okefenokee Camping, 2022-11-19

Update 2022-11-09: Refuge fee tickets and start a hour earlier.

This is primitive, wilderness camping and paddling at its best.

To come on this outing be sure that you are comfortable paddling your loaded boat for 9 miles against a moderate current with only 1 stopping point to get out for a break. Minnie’s Lake platform is the 4 mile lunch stop, then 5 more miles to Floyd’s Island.

Yes, there will be alligators in the heart of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

[Gator and kayak]
Gator and kayak

Continue reading

Twin Pines Minerals sues Army Corps about oversight of strip mine site near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-06-27

Well, that did not take long. Only three weeks after an Assistant Secretary of the Army told the Army Corps it had to resume oversight of the proposed titanium-dioxide strip mine site too near the Okefenokee Swamp, the miners have sued the Corps. They still want to strip mine for white paint materials within three miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, an economic engine for southeast Georgia and northeast Florida, and an irreplaceable refuge for numerous land, water, and bird species. That Swamp is the headwaters of the St Marys and Suwannee Rivers, and above the Floridan Aquifer, from which we all drink in south Georgia and north Florida, including for agriculture and industry. There must be better sources of jobs for Charlton County, Georgia.

[Twin Pines Minerals equipment on proposed mine site 2022-02-12]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Twin Pines Minerals equipment on proposed mine site 2020-02-12, 30.52081, -82.1261

Mary Landers, The Current, June 27, 2022, Mining company sues Army Corps over project near Okefenokee: Twin Pines claims agency erred in overturning decision and seeking Muscogee Nation’s input.

Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers last week, claiming the federal agency erred when it bowed to “stakeholder pressure” earlier this month and made it harder for the company to get permits to mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

…In its filing, Twin Pines maintains “The Twin Pines Approved Jurisdictional Determinations were issued in compliance with all laws, regulations, and policies — including the tribal consultation policy — in effect when they were issued.”

More specifically, the company contends Continue reading

Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff advocates for protection of the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-05-25

Like Sen. Ossoff, you can help stop a strip mine proposed far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers, and the mine sits on top of the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink.

Senator Jon Ossoff is advocating for the protection of the Okefenokee swamp, Kyra Purvis, WFXL, Wednesday, May 25th 2022,

[Sen. Ossoff at the Okefenokee Swamp 2021-05-14]
Sen. Ossoff at the Okefenokee Swamp 2021-05-14

Senator Jon Ossoff is advocating for the protection of the Okefenokee swamp and its national wildlife refuge.

The swamp is currently being looked at by Twin Pines Minerals LLC as a place for titanium mining.

Ossoff is asking for a joint effort between both parties and is calling on all environmental agencies to protect one of Georgia’s most precious natural resources.

“Our state may lose the Okefenokee swamp, this precious natural resource, unless EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the Army Corps and Georgia’s environmental protection division take action to stop it,” said Ossoff in his call to action, “Overwhelmingly the people of Georgia and of the local community treasure the Okefenokee swamp. But I’m sounding the alarm because we need an all hands-on deck effort now to bring the pressure to bear necessary to save the Okefenokee swamp from destruction.”

Ossoff says he has Continue reading

Suwannee River Headwaters Forest, Clinch and Ware Counties, GA –The Conservation Fund 2021-06-22

Tipped off by a local member of the Board of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA), I looked up this Suwannee River Headwaters Land and Water Protection project.

[Suwannee River Headwaters Forest, GA-EPD Determination, Suwannee River in Georgia]
Suwannee River Headwaters Forest, GA-EPD Determination, Suwannee River in Georgia

These acquisitions would protect most of both banks of the Suwannee River from the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge to Fargo, which is in turn more than a third of the Suwannee River proper in Georgia (below the East and Middle Forks to the GA-FL line). Continue reading

Suwannee River Sill, Griffis Fish Camp 2019-12-08

The water gates at the Suwannee River Sill are always open, despite the widespread Florida myth that in big rains Georgia opens them to flood Florida.

[The Sill is always open for Suwannee River water, 09:50:32, 30.804, -82.4177]
The Sill is always open for Suwannee River water, 09:50:32, 30.8040000, -82.4177000

These pictures are from camping two nights at Griffis Fish Camp.

See also the WWALS map of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, extended into Georgia. Continue reading