Conservation project in North Georgia will include hiking, caving and more

Nearly 2,400 acres on Lookout Mountain and into Johnson’s Crook in Dade County, Georgia have been preserved and will be managed by the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc. (SCCI) as the new Charles B. Henson Preserve at Johnson’s Crook. Last week, SCCI announced it received a donation of the land from an anonymous donor and the Georgia- Alabama Land Trust Inc. The property was at one time slated to be a development touted as the next Pigeon Forge. The property has more than 30 known caves; one of the highest concentrations of caves in the southeast, and is one of the biggest private conservation projects in the region. SCCI is now seeking help from other groups in the area to turn the preserve into a major recreation and conservation area with plans to add more than five miles of hiking trails, mountain biking trails, picnicking, camping and, of course, caving.

U.S. Supreme Court will not hear challenge of Mountain Valley Pipeline

Last October, about a dozen landowners along the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline route asked the Supreme Court to reverse the dismissal of their lawsuit, which challenged the way developers of the pipeline were allowed to obtain easements through their property. The landowners argued that their property was illegally taken through eminent domain laws. That lawsuit was heard in Roanoke’s federal court and dismissed by the judge who said she lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. In an order filed Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case. No explanation was given, but the high court hears only about 80 of the 8,000 cases that are filed each year. A Mountain Valley spokeswoman said that the company is pleased with the court’s decision not to reopen the question of eminent domain.

Savannah woman catches record pinfish

photo from coastalgadnr.org

Jordan McCullough of Savannah, GA holds the new women’s state record for pinfish. McCullough broke the record on December 28, 2018, catching a 12.8-oz. pinfish using live shrimp while fishing on a tidal creek on Skidaway Island. The previous state record was 5.52 ounces. McCullough’s catch was weighed by Savannah’s Russo Seafood using a certified scale. McCullough will receive a certificate of acknowledgment for her record catch, and the record will be added to the list published on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources website. It will also be included in the 2020 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulation guide.