Land Trust Officials Say Any Johnson's Crook Deal Will Include Preservation Of Most Of 1,800-Acre Tract

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Georgia Land Trust officials said at a town hall meeting at Johnson's Crook in Dade County on Wednesday that their aim is to permanently protect the scenic and historic Lookout Mountain tract.

Royce Cornelison, a contractor who has placed conservation easements on his properties before and is considered the mostly likely buyer, told the group he has the same aim.

Mr. Cornelison, a Sand Mountain resident whose P&C Construction is based in Chattanooga, said if he completes the deal he may build a few homes in the valley section where there are already several cabins. He said the remainder of the property would be preserved with a conservation easement.

Katherine Eddins, land trust executive director, noted that a conservation easement does not have to allow any public access. But she said efforts are being made for an agreement to allow cavers access to several caves on the 1,800-acre property.

She also said there is some discussion of an eventual trail going from Cloudland Canyon State Park to Johnson's Crook. "That is down the road," she said, but she said it is hoped there can be allowances in the easement for a trail near the top of the property.

Officials said, "The Land Trust’s mission is to preserve and protect land for present and future generations, a mission it has been on for the past 20 years. The Land Trust has protected over a quarter of a million acres, primarily with conservation easements. A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement between a land owner and a land trust that permanently protects land from development, surface mining and other practices that would significantly harm the land and its natural areas. Georgia Land Trust holds over 700 conservation easements, making it the largest land Trust in the Southeast.  

"The Georgia Land Trust took on Johnson’s Crook as a protection project because of its ecological and historical significance. In addition to being a filter for clean drinking water, Johnson’s Crook contains important ecological features such as caves, rare plants and habitat for a variety of wildlife.

"For approximately three years, the Land Trust has been working with partners such as banks, a bankruptcy trustee and the Southeast Cave Conservancy on the acquisition and stewardship of the land. When the Land Trust completes its acquisition and conservation effort, plans are to work with an individual or organization who will own the land and will permanently protect he land with a conservation easement.

"The Georgia Land Trust will continue to be involved in the stewardship of the land and will insure that the land is never turned into a development or subdivision. The land trust plans to have periodic meetings to update interested parties. Updates will emailed and posted on the website (www.galandtrust.org) and the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AlabamaGeorgiaLandTrust.

"Anyone who has questions about Johnson’s Crook or conservation easements can please call the Land Trust office at 256-447-1006."


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANGLAND, JOSHUA JAMES  1843 BAY HILL DRIVE HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY VIOLATION OF REGISTRATION LAW --- ANTHONY, MICHEAL R  7619 COVE RIDGE DR HIXSON, 37343  ... (click for more)

Hardeman County Man Charged In Savannah Homicide

A joint investigation by   special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and officers from several other west Tennessee law enforcement agencies has resulted in the arrest of a Pocahontas man on a charge of first-degree murder. At the request of the office of 24 th  District Attorney General Matt Stowe, TBI special agents joined officers with the Savannah ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)

It's Tennessee Vs. Nebraska In The Music City Bowl

 Tennessee has accepted an invitation to play the Nebraska in the Music City Bowl on    Dec. 30   at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. Tickets for the Music City Bowl will be available for purchase in the coming days via AllVols.com. "Our entire program is excited about representing the University of Tennessee at the Music City Bowl," Vols ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Wrestlers Win Three In Tullahoma

The Soddy Daisy wrestling team made a Saturday trip to Tullahoma worthwhile as the Trojans came back with three wins, including a 40-31 victory over Wilson Central, a 61-15 verdict over Ravenwood and a 54-19 win over Stewarts Creek. There were five Soddy Daisy wrestlers with three wins on the day, but 126-pound Charles Wheaten was the only one with three pins.  The other ... (click for more)