Tag Archives: SRWT

Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash –WWALS to NCFRPC 2023-01-26

The meeting is 7PM tonight in Lake City, with remote participation options; see:
https://wwals.net/?p=60792


January 26, 2023

To: Scott Koons, E.D., North Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Re: Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash

Dear NCFRPC,

Thank you for the opportunity for public input.

I would like to bring to the attention of the Council three issues:

[Three topics for NCFRPC from WWALS 2023-01-26]
Three topics for NCFRPC from WWALS 2023-01-26

  1. Deadline January 31st for public comment on the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP), Continue reading

Agenda: North Central Florida Regional Planning Council 2023-01-26

Update 2023-01-26: Limit water withdrawals, strip mine near Okefenokee Swamp, Valdosta trash –WWALS to NCFRPC 2023-01-26.

Tonight I will ask them to take up Valdosta trash as an issue like they previously successfully took up Valdosta sewage.

I will ask them to oppose the proposed titanium strip mine and to support the Okefenokee Swamp, the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, and the Floridan Aquifer.

And I will ask them to ask SRWMD and SJRWMD to add a water budget and constraints on water withdrawals to the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP).

[When and Where NCFRPC 2023-01-26]
When and Where NCFRPC 2023-01-26

Now I am composing a letter to send them before the meeting. Continue reading

Suwannee River Chainsaw Cleanup Again, 2023-01-28

You do not have to use a saw to join us as we clear three or four more deadfalls on the last five Suwannee River miles down to Fargo.

[Chainsaw in canoe --Shirley Kokidko 2022-12-29]
Chainsaw in canoe –Shirley Kokidko 2022-12-29

Thanks to Adam Schock of the Conservation Fund for permission to use Three Steps Landing. That will make this one a lot easier than last time.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 4 PM, Saturday, January 28, 2023 Continue reading

Pictures: Griffis to Fargo, Suwannee River 2022-12-29

Update 2023-01-12: Suwannee River Chainsaw Cleanup Again 2023-01-28.

This chainsaw cleanup finished well before dark, Suwannee River, Griffis to Fargo 2022-12-29. Thanks, TJ Johnson for leading it, and Shirley Kokidko for getting the wettest.

[Griffis, Deadfall, Gauge, Fargo 2022-12-29]
Griffis, Deadfall, Gauge, Fargo 2022-12-29

We found one deadfall already cut and we cut another one.

We found three more: one to duck and float under, one to drag under to the left, and one requiring portage. We shall return.

We saw the mysteriously-placed Suwannee River above Fargo Gauge. The GOPRO360 photographed three creeks: Jones (or Tatum) Creek, Sweetwater Creek, and Alligator Creek, or at least those look like creek mouths more or less where USGS thinks they are.

We saw a new-to-us private landing and got pictures of it and the six others between Griffis Fish Camp and Fargo Ramp.

Also the closed bats-in-the-belfry Suwannee River Visitor Center at Fargo. Continue reading

Budget and Bats: Suwannee River Visitor Center

Regarding when and why the Suwannee River Visitor Center closed, I went to an authoritative source, Bryan Gray, Manager, Stephen Foster State Park (SFSP).

[Ramp (south) end, Suwannee River Visitor Center, 08:25:45, 30.6823112, -82.5600485]
Ramp (south) end, Suwannee River Visitor Center, 08:25:45, https://www.google.com/maps/@30.6823112,-82.5600485,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

He says it started with budgeting after the recession. Georgia State Parks had to operate more like businesses.

He started at SFSP in 2011, and the Visitor Center closed not long after that.

They tried to operate it in different capacities, such as Continue reading

Suwannee River Visitor Center 2022-12-29

Update 2023-01-02: Budget and Bats: Suwannee River Visitor Center.

Somebody asked, what is that big building next to the Suwannee River at Fargo, and why is it closed?

[Front, Suwannee River Visitor Center, 08:22:40, 30.6822910, -82.5606494]
Front, Suwannee River Visitor Center, 08:22:40, 30.6822910,-82.5606494

The Suwannee River Visitor Center opened in 2004, before the nearby Eco-Lodge. Both are part of Stephen C. Foster State Park.

It was a showcase for the wildlife, composition, and history of the Suwannee River, as well as an example green building. But it has been closed since at February 2015 or earlier. Here is what I could find about it.

Ashley Harper, WALB TV, June 15, 2004, Tourist attraction brings life to Fargo, Continue reading

Chainsaw Cleanup, Suwannee River, Griffis to Fargo 2022-12-29

Update 2023-01-04: Pictures: Griffis to Fargo, Suwannee River 2022-12-29.

Come help chainsaw some deadfalls on a longish Suwannee River paddle.

You do not have to actually use a chainsaw, but if you’ve got one and know how to use it in a boat, bring it along.

The days are short, so be at Fargo Ramp by 8AM, so we can do a reverse shuttle, carrying the boats up to Griffis Fish Camp. The weather prediction is sunny and warm: low 51, high 71.

When: Gather 8 AM, launch 8:30 AM, end 4:30 PM, Thursday, December 29, 2022

Put In: Griffis Fish Camp

Take Out: Fargo Ramp

GPS: 30.681833, -82.560167

Free: This outing is free to everyone because it is a cleanup.
However, bring $2 in cash for the put-in fee at Griffis Fish Camp.

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations

[Map: Griffis Fish Camp to Fargo Ramp in WWALS SRWT]
Map: Griffis Fish Camp to Fargo Ramp in the WWALS map of the Suwannee River Water Trail (SRWT)

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup. And a chainsaw, if you have one and know how to use it.

Boats: bring your own if you have it.
If you need a boat, Continue reading

Alligator, Church, Peoples Bridge, Suwannee River –Ken Sulak 1880-07-13

Ken Sulak has more about Peoples Bridge on the Suwannee River, including the church the bridge was built for, and when an alligator ate a man in 1880.

Apparently this was a little-known peril of deer hunting. Of course, alligator attacks on humans are very rare: that’s why this one was news.

[Alligator story, Oak Grove Baptist Church, Peoples Bridge]
Alligator story, Oak Grove Baptist Church, Peoples Bridge

I have contacted the Oak Grove Baptist Church, still in existence continuously from the 1870s. The contact person knew nothing about the long gone People’s Bridge 1.2 mi due West from the church. She referred my inquiry to the pastor, unfortunately very new and from up north. So, he knows nothing about the old history. I was hoping the church maintained an archive, or a birth-death-burial log, or an annotated master bible. No luck on that so far.

Continue reading

Peoples Bridge, Suwannee River 2022-11-27

Update 2022-12-13: Alligator, Church, Peoples Bridge, Suwannee River –Ken Sulak 1880-07-13.

Ken Sulak remarked, “I also want to visit the ‘Peoples Bridge’ site on the Suwannee a few miles downstream of the Cone Bridge. This was a wooden foot and wagon bridge possibly built by the congregation of the Oak Grove Church around 1870 so folks on the Hamilton side could attend church on the Columbia side.

“The double row of old cutoff timber pilings emerges at low water.”

The pilings are supposed to be visible when the White Springs Gauge is below 51.0 feet.

[Emerged tops of cutoff pilings of the People's Bridge. --Ken Sulak]
Emerged tops of cutoff pilings of the People’s Bridge. –Ken Sulak

Does anybody know the whereabouts or history of this Oak Grove Church?

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