Date: 11/6/18 1:15 pm
From: Nate Dias (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Patriot's Point--being developed?
This is old news and has been fought over for decades.

For the edification of newcomers: the conservation easement that SC DNR
holds on the wooded area (that the nature trail runs through) is not
permanent and expires soon. The Patriots Point Development Authority has
long said it will not renew the easement when it expires. The PPDA is
desperate for money to keep their rustbucket ships from falling apart and
polluting Charleston Harbor. They do not care about preserving habitat -
they want MONEY. The US Navy is still laughing at sticking the state of
SC with millions of dollars in required maintenance of the USS Yorktown.

Back in the 1980s folks like Dana Beach and Jane Lareau of the Coastal
Conservation League (with area birders like Will Post and Dennis Forsythe)
tried very hard to get the conservation easement made permanent and to
preserve some habitat instead of developing every available inch of
Patriots Point. It was a long, big fight over many years but essentially
the good guys lost.

Several years ago, there was even a move to turn the Patriots Point Golf
Course into a housing subdivision. There was another fight over this,
since Land and Water Conservation Fund money had helped pay for the golf
course and it's not supposed to be developed. This and people in the
Bayview subdivision in Mt. Pleasant making a LOT of noise managed to stop
that development.

Around 6 (or 7?) years ago, the Patriots Point Development Authority tried
to bully SC DNR (a fellow state agency) into dropping the conservation
easement before its term expired. This was when the PPDA was badly in debt
to the state over the $9 million they borrowed to repair the USS Laffey.
Fortunately, SC DNR held firm.

Back at the time, I recall ducking out of a Black Rail Working Group
meeting at Savannah NWR to join a conference call between folks like Dana
Beach, SC DNR Director Alvin Taylor, and others to discuss options. The
best that could be done was DNR holding on to the easement until its legal
expiration. Bottom line: nobody can force the PPDA to renew the
conservation easement, despite over 30 years of trying.

People are welcome to make a last-minute public outcry, but that has been
done for decades and failed. Sad but true.

If people want to get on board a more feasible option for protecting bird
habitat along Charleston Harbor, they should get on board with the regional
park Mark Sandford and others are working to create at the south tip of
Daniel Island.

Nathan Dias - Charleston, SC

On Sun, Nov 4, 2018 at 8:11 PM Jack Rogers <jack...> wrote:
> C-birders,
> A recent letter to the editor in the Moultrie News (read it here), speaks
about the possible development of the wooded portion of Patriot's Point in
Mt Pleasant, SC. However, the writer of the letter fails to cite a source
for his claim. Can anyone comment or provide incite on this possibility?
> Thanks,
> Jack Rogers
> --
> Jack Rogers
> LSU Museum of Natural Science
> Baton Rouge, Louisiana/Mt Pleasant, SC
> My Flickr page

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