GA 122 @ Withlacoochee River 2017-05-17

A clearcut near the Withlacoochee River at GA 122 in Lowndes County, Georgia, led to some visual observations.

School bus heading west
School bus westbound on Hagan Bridge over the Withlacoochee River.

The clearcut starts east of the river and west of Hambrick Road. Here you can see the entrance to it from GA 122:

GA 122 entrance

The clearcut narrows as it goes south between the river and the little branch that crosses Hambrick Road to join the river below it.

Clearcut and Withlacoochee River
Clearcut south of GA 122 between Onice Davis Branch and the Withlacoochee River.

I’ve never heard a name for that little creek that starts south of GA 122 across from the Georgia Sheriffs’ Boys Ranch, on land formerly owned by the late Onice Davis Coppage, so I’m going to dub it Onice Davis Branch, in honor of my fourth grade schoolteacher.

Apparently the closest the clearcut gets to the river is near GA 122:

Apparent closest clearcut is to river

Here you can see how close that is to the GA 122 right of way.

Down to the river

Looking south down the river we can see Skipper Bridge Road receding into the distance. We probably cannot see as far as Twin Creek.

Across Withlacoochee River and Skipper Bridge Road

Looking north, we can see hardwoods across the bridge indicating Hutchinson Mill Creek coming in from the left.

Hutchinson Mill Creek confluence N of GA 122 bridge

Looking farther north, more hardwoods indicate Lindsey Branch at the border of Lowndes County with Cook County, and Berrien County is east across the river.

Upstream across Lindsey Branch to Cook County (Berrien on right)

And looking east up GA 122 we can see the Georgia Sheriffs’ Boys Ranch.

Georgia Sheriffs Boys Ranch

I took these pictures at about 31.013313, -83.301574 on May 17, 2017. At the Withlacoochee River USGS Skipper Bridge Gage, the water level was about 1.34 feet or 121.59 feet NAVD (above sea level). At that level you probably could paddle from Hagan Bridge Landing the approximately 5.7 river miles down to Franklinville Landing at Tyler Bridge on the Withlacoochee River Water Trail, but I’d bet you’d be dragging over some deadfalls and really shallow spots on the way.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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East bank, Withlacoochee River
East bank, Withlacoochee River

School bus heading east on GA 122
School bus heading east on GA 122

Car on GA 122
Car on GA 122

Downstream, Withlacoochee River
Downstream, Withlacoochee River

Bird in front of tree on left
Bird in front of tree on left

Power line and upstream
Power line and upstream

Bird in upper left corner
Bird in upper left corner

East along GA 122 to Boys Ranch
East along GA 122 to Boys Ranch

Car turning on Hambrick Road, cell tower, clearcut
Car turning on Hambrick Road, cell tower, clearcut

Clearcut between creek and Withlacoochee River
Clearcut between creek and Withlacoochee River

Hardwoods on riverbank due south
Hardwoods on riverbank due south

SSE across Withlacoochee River
SSE across Withlacoochee River

Down to Withlacoochee River
Down to Withlacoochee River

GA 122 RoW and Withlacoochee River downstream
GA 122 RoW and Withlacoochee River downstream

Parking, GA 122 @ Withlacoochee River
Parking, GA 122 @ Withlacoochee River

Hutchinson Mill Creek confluence N of GA 122 bridge
Hutchinson Mill Creek confluence N of GA 122 bridge

Upstream across Lindsey Branch to Cook County (Berrien on right)
Upstream across Lindsey Branch to Cook County (Berrien on right)

Georgia Sheriffs Boys Ranch
Georgia Sheriffs Boys Ranch

GA 122 entrance
GA 122 entrance

Clearcut and Withlacoochee River
Clearcut and Withlacoochee River

Across Withlacoochee River and Skipper Bridge Road
Across Withlacoochee River and Skipper Bridge Road

Apparent closest clearcut is to river
Apparent closest clearcut is to river

Down to the river
Down to the river

School bus heading west
School bus heading west

Call U.S. Senate Energy Committee about Sabal Trail and FERC violations

You can follow up after five people were arrested Thursday protesting confirmation hearings for FERC nominees in the U.S. Senate Energy Committee. The committee hasn’t made any decisions yet, so there’s still time to tell your Senator or members of that committee what FERC or its rubberstamped pipelines have done, so they can refuse to confirm any nominee who does not vow to turn FERC away from more pipelines and towards sun, wind, and a smart grid.


Photo: Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee considered the nominations of (left to right) Dan Brouillette to be deputy Energy secretary and Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to fill vacancies on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

They’re also considering a nominee for deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, which department’s Office of Fossil Energy rubberstamped half a dozen LNG export operations in Florida. You can tell the Senators that you don’t want him, either, unless he will turn to the sun.

You can ask the Senate Energy Committee to go beyond that: it can Continue reading

Wade Spring 2017-05-21

The ghostly remains of the spring pool in what was once a famous resort. Aaron Sirmons says the owner told him when her father bought the place in the 1960s, the spring was already destroyed. The Brooks County Manager told me somebody tried to enlarge it and destroyed it. It looks like maybe they used dynamite.

Wade Spring with Aaron Sirmans as reference human

Wade Spring is actually easily visible from Blue Springs Road in Brooks County, Georgia, if you know just where to peer through the bushes. That’s at Continue reading

Sabal Trail slips its in-service request to June; FERC classifies WWALS shutdown request as motion 2017-05-26

They finally admit to FERC the Sabal Trail boondoggle is a month late! And FERC reclassifies the WWALS filing as a motion for all three SMPP pipelines.

Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post, 26 May 2017, Sabal Trail seeks new pipeline start date; group wants shutdown,

Sabal Trail Transmission on Friday asked federal regulators for an early June in-service date for its portion of the Alabama-to-Florida natural gas pipeline, a later date than it had requested earlier this month.

With segmented KMI FGT JEP to Jacksonville to Eagle LNG export:

On May 17 Houston-based Sabal Trail had asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to start sending gas through the pipeline by today — May 26.

Also Friday, the Georgia-based WWALS Watershed Coalition asked FERC to deny all requests to place the pipeline into service, and said FERC should revoke the permit and shut it down.

The Sierra Club recently asked FERC to delay the pipeline’s operation until after pending litigation is resolved.

FERC has yet to act on either of Sabal Trail’s start-up date requests or on The Sierra Club’s request.

Maybe FERC staff have noticed Continue reading

WWALS asks FERC to deny Sabal Trail’s in-service request and to revoke its permit

Update 2017-05-27: Sabal Trail slips its in-service request to June; FERC classifies WWALS shutdown request as motion 2017-05-26.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, May 26, 2017 — WWALS Watershed Coalition today asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to “stay, stop, or deny all requests to place any project facilities into service” for the Southeast Markets Pipeline Project (SMPP) including Sabal Trail. Further “WWALS as an intervenor formally requests FERC to revoke its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for SMPP.”

In its thirteen-page filing (available online and in PDF), WWALS listed six reasons, each with its own attachment of details:

  1. The alleged need for this pipeline project, which has been refuted by its funding organization in FPL’s 2016 Ten Year Plan and by other evidence; and
  2. FERC has taken jurisdiction of at least one LNG export chain from Sabal Trail, despite FERC’s own assertion in its February 2016 Certificate; and
  3. Major Gas Pipelines Serving Jacksonville, Florida
    See Sabal Trail to export through Jacksonville, FL.

  4. Failure to assess risks to Floridan Aquifer, the primary water supply for the region; and
  5. Numerous permit violations during construction; and
  6. Failure to address especially egregious violations such as the destruction of Randy Dowdy’s world-record soybean fields; and
  7. The legal challenges recited in the Sierra Club letter of May 18, 2017, FERC Accession Number 20170519-5018, are all completely litigated.

WWALS president and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman said, “It’s not too late for FERC to do its job and actually evaluate all the new evidence that has come to light. Even more, FERC should look at how the world has changed Continue reading