John Quarterman of WWALS organized and executed today Oct. 22, 2016 a flight along the Sabal Trail construction zone along the Suwannee basin. Flight covered was from the Santa Fe River crossing south of Branford to Moultrie, Georgia. Corridor covered from Suwannee, Hamilton in Florida to Lowndes, Brooks and Colquitt Counties in Georgia.
Hats off to John Quarterman for the organizing, research and execution, and also to Roy Zimmerman, volunteer pilot from Deland who gave his time, use of aircraft and aviation gas. Additional crew was Dominic Gheesling, professional photographer and your historian from OSFR. Look for the well-researched, heavily-documented, link-laden WWALS post soon to come out. Thank you John, for this opportunity.
This is the Santa Fe River crossing looking south, with the north side in the foreground. Note the pipe lying in wait to be buried. Ironically, 1n 2003, your writer inquired about purchasing the round house on the right, on the riverbank.
This view is where the cleared corridor ends on the south side of ther river. That is a county public road crossing the corridor, and Sabal Trail equipment is parked at the end of the corridor. On this day no pipe was visible in the corridor.
Pipe yard north of Lake City, site of earlier demonstration, is loaded with pipe. View from the west looking east/northeast. Lake City lies to the south.
Closer view of the pipe. Sections are stacked in rows on top of each other.
View of Sacred Water Camp. From the south, looking slightly east of north. I-10 in foreground. Pipe is visible up to the Interstate. Camp is located in the dark square of trees in the right in the picture, just inside the left side of square of trees.
John forgot to tell me to bring the OSFR banner. JSQ, Dominic, Roy Zimmer and yours truly. Background the trusty 1969 Cessna 206, which fought a 47 mph headwind going north, but cruised at 170 heading back. The Cessna aircraft is a wonderful invention.
There is more to say about this pipe and this trip, and we have many more images. The pipe appears to be under the North Withlacoochee. At places it goes adjacent to dwellings. At places they were clearing the corridor and burning up-rooted trees.
This project is a devastation. It is changing people’s lives needlessly. It is ripping up our planet needlessly. Viewed in spates of miles from 4 thousand feet up, the enormity is suppressing. We can’t change to solar soon enough.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-