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Route Would Wipe Out Wildlife Refuge, Historic Mine

Georgia Department of Transportation's proposed path for the 411 Connector, Route DV-E, could threaten local perceptions about the natural environment and open space, a Cartersville resident says.

In this letter to the editor, a Cartersville resident says locals should encourage elected officials to protect the environment and continue Cartersville's high rankings — per the recent Citizen Survey — in the quality of natural environment and preservation of open spaces, farmlands and green space.

Dear Editor: 

As reported in the media, the City of Cartersville recently completed its National Citizen Survey, a report about residents’ quality of life in Cartersville. The report provided interesting insights about living, working and more in Cartersville and can be accessed at http://www.cityofcartersville.org.

I find it interesting that of the 1,200 surveys distributed and 300 completed – which is roughly .06 percent and .017 percent, respectively, of Cartersville’s population – that the quality of the natural environment and preservation of open space, farmlands and green space was “similar” and “much above” the national comparison of other community environmental benchmarks. 

Since the respondent numbers only reflect a very small portion of the community, there is a possibility that the survey results are not entirely accurate or thorough, including the stated 5 percent margin of error. Nonetheless, the results are interesting for several reasons. 

While the city ranked “similar” and “much above” national comparisons in its preservation of open space, farmlands and green space, this perception will assuredly falter when GDOT’s proposed 411 Connector destroys environmental and historic resources in our community.

Residents of Cartersville and Bartow need to more thoroughly understand the potential ramifications that GDOT’s proposed route – Route D-VE – will have on our community. As it stands, Route D-VE will wipe out a 107-acre conservation easement that serves as a significant wildlife refuge, bisects two erosion-prone watersheds that are home to the threatened Cherokee darter, destroys Dobbins Mountain and historic Dobbins Mine and negatively impacts other environmental resources.

Now is the time for residents to encourage our elected officials to protect our local environmental resources before it is too late. Our elected leaders need to speak-out against GDOT’s destructive route to ensure our community is on a course for improvement; not degradation from a costly, environmentally damaging road project. 

Sincerely,

Leslie Crawford

Swerve July 28, 2011 at 12:25 PM
I can tell from these comment that none of you have any kind of understanding of the true process in selecting a route. The reason the selection process costs so much is because GDOT brings in expert environmentalists, historians, archeoligists, and engineers. They look at all possible routes, and decide which route will have the fewest impacts while not having an outrageous cost. Dig does not have his facts as straight as he/she thinks. Acidic runoff?? Trust me the runoff will be just about the same as it currently is. Federal Law makes sure of this. Historic mine? Just because it is old it is not historic. Cherokee Darter?? Last time I checked GDOT does not build roads through creeks and streams. They build them over creeks and streams. Greenspace?? We all know Bartow County is predominately rural in make up. So this road will not seriously damage the greenspace. A comment on the so call wildlfe refuge. Is this refuge recognized by the state and federal authorities? Anyone can put a sign up in their yard that says wildlfe refuge. If it is not recognized by the proper authorities than it is not a refuge. Why does everyone just admit this is just another "Not in my back yard" issue, and move on?
Dig Mcaffrey July 28, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Acid runoff - see PennDOT & I-99 mishap. Similar issue could arise here. Not that GDOT knows either way, as they haven't studied the mountain and its geologic conditions. Historic mine - same could be said of the Guyton Ore Bank, yet GDOT avoided the mine and made a big deal out of it. Streams and creeks - the bridges aren't needed near as much with the other routes. No need to spend millions more that we don't have. Green space - take it up with the county. The consider it a priority - http://www.bartowga.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=84&Itemid=151 Wildlife refuge - The federal judge that stopped GDOT's route said in his ruling the property served essentially as a "wildlife refuge." Those were his exact words; not mine. I understand the selection process fine. Money is not an issue - especially taxpayers money - and so what about environmental issues. We're GDOT, we can do whatever the hell we want, so move on.
sg August 18, 2011 at 03:43 PM
The last I read the Rollins family owns this land in question. They have very deep pockets which is the only reason this ordeal has drug out as long as it has. Now I could buy the deep devotional attachment to the environment and local history if the property were a county park or recreational site, but this is privately owned land. If the Rollins family is willing to donate a park to the people of Bartow county...that's one thing, but if this is a selfish entitlement of one rich family then that is another issue altogether. Whether you agree with eminent domain or not, the road needs building. Not just for the people of Floyd county, but also for the people of Bartow county who live and work along the current congested I-75 to 411 corridor.
Dig Mcaffrey August 18, 2011 at 05:54 PM
Thanks, Captain Obvious. Class warfare argument = tired, played out. And I am sure you would be fine with the state saying: 1. Hey, we're going to avoid your property with the route, so go right ahead with your million dollars worth of improvements. 2. Said improvements are completed. 3. Other route is approved (now known as Route G). 4. Then Budweiser protests GDOT's route because it might want to place a theme park there and expand the plant. (Have you enjoyed the theme park, lately?) 5. Then GDOT informs you the route is coming back through your property - after you spent the money, got the commitment and Budweiser did nothing that was alleged. Regardless of my social status, I would want to fight them tooth and nail.
sg August 18, 2011 at 11:42 PM
So we get to see Budweiser and Orkin duke it out for the next 20years??? Somebody has to S%@t or get off the pot...the road needs to be built.

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