Busy Weekend

I went up to Blackwater twice this weekend. Neither time was to work on the trail, just to hang out and do some riding. On Saturday, I did the century ride with the Blackwater Cyclists (I only did 40 miles). It was a nice group to ride with. I’m going to do that ride more often as they ride every Saturday.

 On Sunday, we met Barbara’s co-worker Brett and his wife Kat to do a tree survey on old International Paper land. The parcel is about a mile or two from our trail. We were supposed to find the parcels and record information from the trees. We found the parcel but the trees were supposed to be tagged so we could identify them. No tags though. We searched around for about an hour, then headed down to the Primitive Area. We explored the tressel and located a posible creek crossing. Then we lounged by the creek and looked at tortoise holes. Pretty relaxing. The road that accesses the parcel where we were looking for the trees goes all the way to Phase 3. Maybe I can do some more exploring next weekend.

Published in: on March 19, 2007 at 6:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happenings

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.

Published in: on March 10, 2007 at 7:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Still Waiting

Not much has been happening on my end. The Fish and Wildlife people are short staffed so they haven’t had time to look at the trail. The forestry people sent their biologist out and she did a quick look around and found several tortoise holes. These are probably the same ones I saw while marking the trail. I’m trying to schedule a meeting with her at David’s request. Phase 1 is still in Tallahassee but David has talked to them about it so it’s still on their radar. I keep wanting to get back up there to look for creek crossings but I’ve been trying to do some riding and get caught up on chores. Soon it will be snake season.

The Perdido River trails are moving forward through the meeting process. We were supposed to take a field trip out to look at the parcels but it got canceled due to lack of participants. But Barbara and I volunteered to help out with the lumberjack festival last weekend in Milton. The fellow putting the festival on is the same guy who does the leg work at the Perdido River properties. So Barbara has talked him into giving us a personal tour. Pretty sweet. Tomorrow is the next public meeting for the Perdido River parcels. I put the call out on the PORC message board several weeks ago in hopes of getting at least 10 people to show up. The more, the better for the public meetings. I’ve even offered to buy the first round of beers. We’ll see.

Published in: on March 8, 2007 at 6:33 pm  Leave a Comment