Okefenokee Threatened by Mining (Again)

get more from BRO

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is the largest wilderness area in the East, and it’s the largest blackwater swamp in North America. With thousands of alligators and hundreds of rare species, it’s one of the wildest and most biologically diverse landscapes in the Eastern United States.

In July, an Alabama company announced plans to strip mine for titanium and other heavy minerals in an area bordering the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Twin Pine Minerals is proposing to operate its mining facility in stages on about 19 square miles along a ridge of land bordering the refuge. The total proposed area is about 12,000 acres. The titanium dioxide that Twin Pines Minerals wants to mine is primarily used to produce white pigment for paints and paper. Gopher tortoises, a threatened species that is considered a keystone species on which other animals depend, will be among the many species impacted due to construction of facilities and mining activities.

In the 1990s, DuPont’s plan to mine on 38,000 acres outside the refuge caused such an outcry that then-Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt visited the Okefenokee in April 1997 to declare his opposition. DuPont gave up its Georgia mining plan in 1999.

We need a similarly massive public outcry against this mining plan in order to stop it. Please make your voice heard. Public comments can be sent to holly.a.ross@usace.army.mil.

You can sign this petition opposing the strip mining plans for the Okefenokee:

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/331/961/490/stop-strip-mining-planned-next-to-okefenokee-national-wildlife-refuge/

Support Blue Ridge Outdoors

Did you enjoy this article? To insure Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine continues to deliver you great outdoor related content consider becoming a TrailHead for as little as $1 a month.

Advertisment

in case you missed it

A Hiking Getaway to Madison County, VA

As we head into fall, what better place to get outside and experience the changing leaves than Madison County, Va. Rich in...

Winter Can Never Come Soon Enough at Snowshoe

Winter Can Never Come Soon Enough Our friends at Snowshoe...

Hike Russell County, Virginia

As one of the most beautiful areas in the world, discover all that the mountains of southwestern Virginia have to offer when...

Hike Scott County, Virginia

From mountain creek trails to sweeping high-country scenic vistas, Scott County offers a variety of hiking options in the southwestern tip of...

Support Blue Ridge Outdoors

Help fund our distribution of free outdoor content to the region we love to go outside and play in. LEARN MORE