Georgia State Rep. Colton Moore, who is running against longtime incumbent state Senator Jeff Mullis, said, "Over the past 10 days, Jeff Mullis has announced multiple times, to Northwest Georgia, that Cloudland Canyon State Park is closed. The Dade County Commission and I would like to make clear the park is not closed."
Rep. Moore said, "The public always deserves transparency with government operations.
This is especially true with a virus crisis when mass confusion is most dangerous.
"To bring clarity, day visitors from anywhere can still visit the park, 150 cars at a time. Those with reservations can still enjoy the park overnight.
"Today, I attended a meeting of DNR officials, local commissioners, and Senator Jeff Mullis escorted by two Georgia State Patrol cars. Our State Troopers have other more valuable business to tend to during this State of Emergency.
"Mullis made sure I was not invited to represent our people in this meeting. A meeting regarding State property in Dade County, Ga., which I also represent. This is a crystal clear display of Jeff Mullis’ shady tactics and the inability of working on a team with other elected Representatives. This disrespect to our State is no different than the treatment or support Jeff Mullis gives District 1 at the Georgia State Capitol.
"Thirty minutes before the meeting, I was notified. Thank you Georgia Department of Natural Resources for their openness and willingness to make changes to facilitate the increased demand of our state park.
"That said, the Senator has no authority to announce the shutdown of the park or to instruct park officials of the same. This has caused serious confusion for the people and the Dade County Commission.
"In addition, this behavior and lack of authority directly conflicts with Governor Brian Kemp's instruction.
"Moving forward, please disregard announcements about Cloudland Canyon from Jeff Mullis. You will continue to get politics over policy with him, as you have for 18 years.
"Park officials have assured me a new traffic pattern has been developed to maintain the efficiency of traffic, avoiding a dangerous situation on Highway 136.
"While the people of Dade County wish for a full shutdown of Cloudland Canyon, this is unlikely to occur.
"Please pray for the safety of our law enforcement officers as they process visitors over the coming days."