clearn.png
Thursday July 9th, 2020 10:34PM

Two N. Ga. waterways on watchdog group's annual 'Dirty Dozen' list

By B.J. Williams Assistant News Director
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA — For the fifth time, the Georgia Water Coalition has issued its "Dirty Dozen" report, listing the worst offenses to the state's waterways; this year, two of the 12 are located in north Georgia.

 

Creeks in Union County could face damage from commercial logging

First on the list is Cooper Creek in Union County, where the U.S. Forest Service has plans for the Cooper Creek Watershed Project. Joe Cook with the Georgia Water Coalition said in a tele-press conference Wednesday morning that the plan to harvest timber on 3,700 acres along the Cooper, Coosa and Youngcane Creeks could lead to big problems for those waterways and others downstream.

"Harvesting timber on such steep [mountain] slopes where soil is more susceptible to erosion is not recommended within the timber industry, but soil erosion is a big threat for these mountain creeks," said Cook. 

Cooper Creek flows into the Toccoa River and eventually into Lake Blue Ridge, according to document listed in the Dirty Dozen Report.

The recommendation from the Coalition is for the U.S. Forest Service to end commercial logging in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

 

Tubers on the upper Chattahoochee threaten the river in the Helen area

Coming in at the fifth position on the 2015 list is the portion of the Chattahoochee River that runs through Alpine Helen, a popular place for tourists to "shoot the Hooch" in warmer weather.

Business owners along that portion of the river report massive amounts of trash left behind in the water and along the banks of the river by tubers. A portion of the blame should go to the people who operate the tubing businesses, according to Jimmy Harris of Unicoi Outfitters, a business located on the river just south of Helen.

"What we're talking about is just being a good neighbor and right now neither the city of Helen or some of the businesses fit that description," said Harris.

He said it doesn't appear the operators of the tubing businesses are educating their customers on how to use the river responsibly. Over and above that, Harris said there are just too many tubers on the river at a given time.

"That sounds like a terrible thing to say, to tell somebody they have to restrict their business, but the truth is, you know, that's a resource that can only take so much," said Harris. "There's very, very little done on behalf of the companies in town that use that resource as their primary source of income...to protect it or even clean it up."

Harris said he hires someone to clean up the area around his business and they've found everything from deflated inner tubes to broken life jackets, clothing items, aluminum cans and glass bottles.

For a complete look at the 2015 Dirty Dozen report, go to the Georgia Water Coalition website.

 

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Helen, Chattahoochee River, Dirty Dozen, Cooper Creek, Suches, polluted waterways
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Delivery driver alerts of Lawrenceville house fire
Gwinnett County fire crews responded to a house fire in Lawrenceville Thursday afternoon after being alerted by a pizza delivery driver.
7:38PM ( 4 years ago )
Gilmer County announces arrests in Monday murder
Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson has announced the arrest of three men in connection with the shooting death of Andrew Abernathy on Monday night.
7:15PM ( 4 years ago )
Elderly man struck by vehicle on 441 at Banks Crossing
The Georgia State Patrol reports an elderly man suffered minor injuries while attempting to cross Georgia Highway 15 (U.S. 441) at Banks Crossing about 5 p.m. Thursday.
6:50PM ( 4 years ago )
Local/State News
Helen reminds merchants of holiday lighting requirements
Alpine Helen is consistently recognized as one of the state’s top Christmas towns.
6:00PM ( 2 months ago )
Municipal, special elections set Nov. 5 across North Georgia
Voters across the state will go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 5, to decide races for municipal offices and other special election issues.
By Rob Moore, B.J. Williams
9:00AM ( 3 months ago )
Helen named best Oktoberfest city in U.S.
Helen has been named the best Octoberfest city in the country by rent.com, which includes twelve cities and towns.
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:00AM ( 3 months ago )
Helen celebrates 50th birthday of Alpine Village theme
Fifty years ago, Helen was a dying former lumber town but then a group of men developed a vision to convert the White County city into something that would get drivers on Ga. 75 out of their cars.
8:01PM ( 4 months ago )
Helen officials tightening reins on carriage operators
The City of Helen is taking back its loading zones for their intended use, but that means horse-and-buggy operators will have to find a new area to pick up and drop off passengers.
8:01AM ( 4 months ago )