On Tuesday we had the public meeting with the NWFWMD. Overall it wasn’t well attended but our group had 6 people. Not as many as I wanted but enough to have a good showing. I think we were noticed. I talked with Steve Brown about trail locations. I should have been talking to him earlier in the process because he’s the man with the knowledge. I was under the impression we were to be building all the trails on the southern parcel; biking, hiking and equestrian. Come to find out, they want them all on separate parcels. The equestrians have claimed the southern parcel and we have the option of the two central parcels. The southernmost of the two borders the dump so that leaves us with the more northern parcel. All we have to do is submit a plan for their approval and we’re good to go. I’m in contact with the guy that can get me GIS info of the parcel and as soon as that’s available, I can start designing. I would also like to make a site visit just to see if it’s worth doing. It may have been logged and completely trashed or going to be logged in the near future. Anyway, it’s something more definite.
As far as Blackwater goes, I had a meeting with the biologists yesterday to make sure we were still on the same page. The FWC has hired some new people so they will be out there scouring for tortoises. From the small amount they’ve done, they said there were few problems so we may be good to go. We also discussed the creek crossing to access phase 3. We ventured down to where I thought it might be a better crossing area than the one I had found before. The woods were thick down there so we didn’t get very far. I would have liked to cross the creek to look at the other side but I don’t think anyone wanted to get their feet wet. I was looking for a definitive answer for the location but no one seemed willing to make that call. Sort of an unproductive meeting. I’ll go look around some more soon and just make the call myself as to the location. I don’t think DEP cares about something so small and would defer to the forestry people as to the location. I’ll just pick a spot and let them offer alternatives if they don’t like it. Their main concern is threatened vegetation and that hasn’t sprouted yet so it’s hard to know.
The area at the end of the Juniper Creek Primitve Area access road is a primitive camp site. I thought it was just a picnic area. The forestry lady said it wasn’t used very often. Check it out sometime.