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."



Man Shot By Chattanooga Police Faces Attempted First-Degree Murder Charge

A man who was shot by Chattanooga Police on Saturday has been released from the hospital and is facing several criminal charges, including attempted first-degree murder.   Joel Deon Harris, 50, is also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon, theft under $500, resisting arrested and aggravated assault on a police officer.   The incident happened ... (click for more)

Alexander Responds To President Trump’s Executive Order To End Separation Of Families At Border

Senator Lamar Alexander released the following statement on President Trump’s executive order on Wednesday that will end the separation of children from their parents at the border:   “Families need to stay together whenever possible while an immigration judge determines whether they can stay legally in our country. The president’s executive order is ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Please ‘Connect The Dots’

Get your crayons out and let’s play “connect the dots.” Next Thursday (June 28 th ) the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, in partnership with Chattanooga’s publicly-flawed non-profit educational foundation, UnifiEd, will hold its regional meeting at Chattanooga’s Bessie Smith Hall. The coalition was formed to advocate for “students of color” in Tennessee, and among those on ... (click for more)

Silverdale's Chase Cook Inks Scholarship With Bryan College

When Gray Ange arrived at Silverdale Baptist Academy two years ago to take over the baseball program one of the first players he heard about was the so-called crafty lefthander Chase Cook. “Most left-handed pitchers who are not your typical velocity guys get tagged with that ‘crafty’ description because they make a living throwing off speed to spots. They find ways to ... (click for more)

Fairyland Swimmers Upset Country Club

The Fairyland Flash had their best swim meet of the season at home Tuesday night when they beat the Country Club Wavemakers by a single point, handing the visitors their first loss of the season after four straight wins. Country Club had prevailed by a lopsided 466-322 margin just last Thursday, but the Flash was more than ready for the competition the second time around. ... (click for more)