Bill Gates gobbling up Georgia farmland, too

300x567 Aerial of Southwest Echols County, in Cottonwood Ag Management in SW Echols County, by John S. Quarterman, 22 October 2014 And Echols County and Lowndes County, Georgia, including much of Lake Park, and Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida, in addition to what Amber Vann wrote in the VDT and other papers today 22 October 2014, Bill Gates gobbling up Florida farmland

LIVE OAK, Fla. — The investment company that manages the wealth of the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, has been acquiring gobs of farmland in north Florida the past two years, real estate records show.

Lakeland Sands Florida, a subsidiary of Cascade Investments LLC, which oversees the Gates fortune, recently bought more than 4,500 acres in Suwanee County near McAlpin, an unincorporated community just south of here.

300x529 Southwest Echols County, in Cottonwood Ag Management in SW Echols County, by John S. Quarterman, 22 October 2014 Meanwhile, Bill Gates owns Cascade Investment LLC, which owns Los Arboles LLC, which changed its name to Cottonwood Ag Management LLC, which bought land in Echols County on the Alapahoochee River, a year after Bill Gates said he was going to fix agriculture in conjunction with Monsanto and Syngenta.

Cottonwood Ag Management LLC does not own any land in Lowndes, Hamilton, or Madison Counties. But Lakeland Sands does: Continue reading

GWC DD#9: Sabal Trail pipeline threatens Withlacoochee River and Floridan Aquifer

300x388 DD#9 2014 Page 1 of 2, in GWC DD#9: Sabal Trail pipeline threatens Withlacoochee River and Floridan Aquifer, by Georgia Water Coalition, for, 22 October 2014 Here is the WWALS item #9 in the Georgia Water Coalition Dirty Dozen 2014; I added the links and the illustrations. -jsq

Worst Offenses Against 


Gas Pipeline Threatens Southwest Georgia Water, Way of Life


Southwest Georgians are fighting an invader—one every bit

as worrisome as the boll weevil that destroyed cotton harvests in the 1900s, except this one takes farmers’ land as well as crops. Continue reading

Withlacoochee River & Floridan Aquifer: Gas Pipeline Threatens Southwest Georgia Water, Way of Life, GWC Dirty Dozen

The Withlacoochee River and the Floridan Aquifer affected by the Sabal Trail pipeline is #9 in the Georgia Water Coalition’s Dirty Dozen 2014: A Call to Action, and here’s the press release,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 22, 2014 — Today, Georgia’s leading water coalition named its “Dirty Dozen” for 2014, highlighting 12 of the worst offenses to Georgia’s waters. The annual Dirty Dozen shines a spotlight on threats to Georgia’s water resources as well as the polluters and state policies or failures that ultimately harm—or could harm—Georgia property owners, downstream communities, fish and wildlife, hunters and anglers, and boaters and swimmers.

“The Dirty Dozen is not a list of the most polluted water bodies in Georgia, nor are they ranked in any particular order,” said Joe Cook, Advocacy & Communication Coordinator at the Coosa River Basin Initiative. “It’s a list of problems that exemplify the results of inadequate funding for Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD), a lack of political will to enforce existing environmental protections, and ultimately misguided water planning and spending priorities that flow from the very top of Georgia’s leadership.”

WWALS submitted #9 of the Dirty Dozen:

9. Withlacoochee River & Floridan Aquifer: Gas Pipeline Threatens Southwest Georgia Water, Way of Life

The Sabal Trail pipeline’s path across Continue reading

Berrien Beach at GA 168 on the Alapaha River

300x221 Public access on north side of bridge, with cement strip boat ramp at higher water level but no facilities. Access road is unpaved and about 1/4 mile long. Nice sandy beach., in Berrien Beach at GA 168 on the Alapaha River, by Bret Wagenhorst, for Bret Wagenhorst took these pictures of a well-known Berrien County fishing, swimming, and boating spot 19 September 2014, and posted them in a facebook album. At the GA 168 bridge, access is on the north side, west of the river. To get to the famous sandy beaches, boat downstream south under the bridge.

And don’t forget, farther downstream: Alapaha Sink: WWALS Outing 2PM 26 Oct 2014. Continue reading

Sinkhole formation and collapse due to drilling under the Withlacoochee River

Drilling through fragile sinkhole-prone karst limestone under the Withlacoochee River (or the Suwannee River, or the Santa Fe River): what could possibly go wrong? Sabal Trail now proposes to move off of the Withlacoochee River in Florida, but still plans to cross the Withlacoochee in Georgia, and to cross the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers, all of which have the same hydrogeology. You can talk directly to Sabal Trail and FERC at the Open House in Jasper, Florida, 5-7PM Tuesday 21 October 2014, and you can join WWALS where the Alapaha River disappears entirely into a sinkhole, at the Alapaha Sink, 2PM Sunday 26 October 2014.

Here are before and after diagrams by Continue reading

Sabal Trail Withlacoochee River Alternative and Jasper Open House 21 Oct 2014

Due to fine work by WWALS members Chris and Deanna Mericle in Hamilton County, Florida, 300x391 Withlacoochee River Crossing Route Alternative, Hamilton and Suwannee Counties, Florida (bare), in Sabal Trail Notice of EIS Intent, by John S. Quarterman, for, 15 October 2014 Sabal Trail proposes to move its fracked methane pipeline off of the Withlacoochee River in Florida, and invites the public to an Open House in Jasper, FL Tuesday October 21st about that and other matters. We can ask them to move it off the Withlacoochee River in Georgia, too. And it’s still possible to file ecomments with FERC, and to contact your local, state, and national elected and appointed officials.

In FERC’s 15 October 2014 Sabal Trail Notice of EIS Intent and Route Alternatives, Continue reading

If We Cared About The Environment Like We Care About Sports –Buzzfeed

Viral video: If We Cared About The Environment Like We Care About Sports.

If you care, you can become a WWALS member or donate. We’re all about conservation, for fishing, boating, swimming, wildlife, plants, economy, and history, including the Alapaha River Water Trail. And you are invited to our next outing, walking to the Alapaha Sink, 2PM 26 Oct 2014.



There’s are a reason the WWALS Mission says “conservation”. It’s pithily summed up by Prof. Rahul Mehrotra.

Elizabeth Gudrais wrote for Harvard Magazine May-June 2012, Engaging Students with Conservation,

PROFESSOR OF URBAN DESIGN and planning Rahul Mehrotra has been involved with restoring historic palaces, writing a law on historic preservation in Mumbai, and crafting a conservation master plan for the Taj Mahal. Harvard recruited him in part for this expertise, and this academic year, with Noyes professor in architectural theory Michael Hays, he has launched a conservation track for Graduate School of Design (GSD) master’s students.

Conservation, he says, is not the same as preservation, which focuses on protection and repair. Conservation is broader and richer, combining historical integrity and creativity to develop narratives connecting the present with the past.

Historical narratives like connecting Continue reading

Agenda, WWALS Board, IHOP Adel, 2014-10-08

Board meetings are open to the public. Facebook event.

Draft Agenda
7:30 PM Wednesday 8 October 2014

Continue reading

2nd Annual Flatlander Canoe and Kayak Race.

IMG_8992-0.JPG Lanier County Advocate, 2 Oct 2014:

The 2nd Annual Flatlanders Canoe and Kayak Race will be held at Lake Irma in Lakeland on Sunday, October 5, starting at 2:30 p.m.

There is no charge to participate in this event, and it will again feature the popular “If It Floats, It’s a Boat” race.

Rules for the canoe and kayak races include: Continue reading