Jan 29 2007
07:35 am

From the Maryville Daily Times:

According to Operation Migration co-founder Joe Duff, it is unlikely that Hiwassee will ever be used again as a stopover point for highly endangered whooping cranes because of a residential development proposed by Maryville-based developer Mike Ross.

"We suspect that we've already used Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge for the last time," Duff said Friday.

Through a joint venture with Chickamauga Shores Holdings LLC, Ross purchased 600 acres of private land adjacent to the refuge for $12.5 million. Ross said his company, Rarity Communities Inc., plans to build a golf course community with about 1,000 new homes on the land.

Duff says the cranes need isolation from humans and the development will be too close to the refuge to provide it.

It won't deter the Sandhill Cranes, though. You see them in peoples' yards and pastures all over the place down there. And a golf course manager in Florida told me they love to hang out on golf courses and wreak havoc on them. And he was only dealing with a dozen or so. It will be interesting to see how 15,000 Hiwassee Sandhills adapt to the new development.

JaHu's picture

I guess they will declare

I guess they will declare open season on those evil Whooping Cranes as they have on those just as evil, land grabbing Geese. The nerve of them to think they can land on our sacred golf courses.

updated: Reminds me of those evil Indians who tried to run us off of our land.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

WhitesCreek's picture

I was hoping we could buy

I was hoping we could buy that parcel as an addition to the Hiwassee refuge, which is obviously too small as it is.

On the other hand, there is some controversy in the Crane world about human contact. The nonmigratory Whoopers in Florida have adapted. I think that ultimately all of them must adapt or else...

There have been problems with nesting sites in wild spots because of the natural predators. Oddly, researchers have found that locating nests in cow pastures keeps the bobcats away and produces more chicks.


R. Neal's picture

On the other hand, there is

On the other hand, there is some controversy in the Crane world about human contact.

I was wondering about that too. Haven't read much about how they do it or the theory behind it, but the brief description in the article of how they totally isolate them from humans or anything human related doesn't necessarily seem realistic given what they are likely to encounter sooner or later.

R. Neal's picture

Plus, I thought there was

Plus, I thought there was still some question about the status of that development in re. the TVA ban on land sales to private developers. Was that already a done deal, or is it being grandfatherred in, or something?

WhitesCreek's picture

I need to ask some folks

I need to ask some folks about the status of that one. I really thought we could get it bought for inclusion in the refuge and there are other parcels being looked at.

Phil B. has put a lot of money on the table for buying land but there's just too much that needs buying and protecting all at the same time. I had proposed buying All of the Bowater properties and selling back off the less sensitive ones as we needed to retire debt, but I didn't get very far with that. In retrospect, I wish I had pushed harder.


R. Neal's picture

I found this

I found this article:


Mr. Ross said he is joint-venturing on the Meigs project with a company run by Cleveland, Tenn., businessman Toby Mc-Kenzie to develop the residential complex. Mr. McKenzie’s firm, Chickamauga Shores Holdings LLC, bought the property, Mr. Ross said.

According to the Meigs County Register of Deeds office, the company bought the tract for $12.5 million from Jack Currey and Thomas Currey.

So the land was bought from individuals, not TVA. But doesn't TVA still have to approve it?

WhitesCreek's picture

I'm not the last word on

I'm not the last word on this but I think that on a private land transaction, TVA only has to approve alterations below a given level. like 750 FASL in my area. that includes clearing, docks, etc. but so far TVA has been lubing up and bending over for developers.

On another track...How long do you think it will be before we have a Tennessee hunting season on Sandhills? I mean I used to love Canada geese...

Eleanor A's picture

Yup. Folks will move in,

Yup. Folks will move in, build McMansions, complain about the gigantic birds landing in their swimming pools and crapping all over the lawn, and try to talk TWRA into letting hunters shoot them.

Don't believe me? Do a little Google search for "Franklin Tennessee coyotes".

cdthomas23's picture

I read this and I wondered

I read this and I wondered about it. I do not have anything against the Whooping Cranes. However, how do we overcome this problem? No matter how big the refuge is (1 acre or 100,000 acres), there ultimately is going to be something built adjacent to it. So is the problem that the refuge needs to be bigger?

Craig Thomas

WhitesCreek's picture

100,000 acres would do it.

100,000 acres would do it.

So would ending sporadic development and sprawl.

Andy Axel's picture

But... but... but... GOLF

But... but... but... GOLF COURSES!


Recursive blogwhore.

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