Letter to the Editor: Development Authority supports Twin Pines

Charlton County Herald – December 23, 2019

Dear Editor,

We, the members of the Charlton County Development Authority, wish to reiterate our support for the mining project proposed by Twin Pines Minerals. We have considered the economic and environmental aspects of the plan very carefully and believe it is going to be a project of which we can all be proud and from which we will all benefit.

The information that has spread is misleading, and there are many examples, such as the claim that Twin Pines plans to mine 12,000 acres. The current permit request is for 2,400 acres, but we understand that the mining footprint has recently been reduced from 1,200 acres to about 900. There have been various claims that mining will be conducted “on the edge” of the swamp and others that say it will be only a half-mile away. The fact is the nearest point in the mining area to the swamp is 2.7 miles away.

Opponents have noted the economic benefits of the Okefenokee and its importance to our community, and we wholeheartedly agree! We would not support anything that would jeopardize this national treasure. It is part of who we are and is unquestionably the centerpiece of Charlton County’s environment.  The county is always looking for ways to improve our employment base and provide revenue sources. The Twin Pines project would fill a great need.

We trust the experts at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the mining project is safe and protective of the Okefenokee. They will rely on scientific evidence and facts to determine if the project should be permitted, not hearsay and speculation.

We look forward to their favorable decision and wish our fellow citizens happy holidays and look forward to a very prosperous 2020.

The City of Folkston and Charlton County Development Authority