Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

GA Groups Fight to Stop Mine Near Okefenokee

Play

Friday, September 16, 2022   

Environmental groups are calling on Georgia's Environmental Protection Division to reject permits to build a titanium mine near an intact freshwater wetland system known as the Okefenokee swamp, which extends into Florida.

The up-and-down battle to protect the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge has perplexed many because of new murky U.S. wetland policies formed under the Trump administration.

Ultimately, Twin Pines Minerals Company successfully sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which dropped its federal protections of the swamp in a settlement.

Christian Hunt - Southeast program representative for Defenders of Wildlife - said he was shocked to see the Corps flip-flop, allowing the mining company to move forward with plans to mine on more than 500 acres at the edge of the largest U.S. National Wildlife Refuge east of the Mississippi, if it gets state approval.

"We think this is an inappropriate neighbor," said Hunt. "It's an inconsistent land use adjacent to this world-class wildlife refuge, and dozens of scientists have voiced such sentiments, so we're following science in that regard."

Twin Pines Minerals maintains the mine "poses no risk to the environment," and is fighting back claims from scientists that the mine would "drain the swamp."

Georgia's Environmental division announced it will continue considerations and the public will get to weight in soon - updates will be announced on the divisions website.

The mine has received bipartisan opposition even from agency scientists. In 2019, the Fish and Wildlife Service said the proposed mine could pose "substantial risks" to the swamp, including its ability to hold water.

Hunt said the mine poses a great danger to the swamp's Trail Ridge - a high ridge of sand running from Starke, Florida, to just southwest of Jesup, Georgia.

"Essentially like an earthen dam to the Okefenokee," said Hunt. "So it's very important in maintaining, and influencing water levels in the swamp in the fears that should mining operations break ground here they would essentially destroy the Okefenokee's ability to sustain itself."

The Refuge covers nearly 630 square miles and is home to alligators, bald eagles and other protected wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge, estimates the swamp draws around 600,000 visitors each year.




get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

According to a 2021 study by the American Heart Association, people who take at least 7,000 steps a day have a 50% to 70% lower risk of dying than those who take fewer daily steps. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

Social Issues

Wisconsin is one of 33 states allowing Social Security benefits to be extended to teachers. As the future of the program is debated, a retired …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021