Letter to the Editor


April 7th, 2005

We would like to thank all those who participated in recommending the Dawson County Board of Commissioners request a State Scenic River study. The study would include 14.4 miles of the Amicalola River and 6.8 miles of the Etowah River in Dawson County. These 21 miles of river have many outstanding qualities and represent one of the last remaining portions of rivers in their natural state without any developments.

At this time, there are over 1173 signed petitions recommending this study. These signatures include not only local individuals but people from throughout Georgia and other states.This is a MAJOR MANDATE for the Scenic River Study that will help to put these rivers under a State Scenic River Designation. A special thanks to the Dawson County Board of Commissioners for their unanimous approval and support at the April 7 commissioners meeting in requesting the Department of Natural Resources to conduct the scenic river study. There are many groups and individuals who have supported this proposal. For example the Conservation Committee of the Dawson County Woman's Club has been and will continue to help in this effort .Recreational groups including outfitters, fisherman, canoeing, kayaking, and others have offered their assistance. A special thanks to Dave Rosselle who was instrumental in developing and managing the Web site, www.EtowahScenicRiver.org. The news media has been very cooperative in providing information to help their readers understand this project. There are many steps to go before these rivers can be designated. The cooperation of the City of Atlanta, Department of Aviation will be a key part of the success or failure of the project. A steering committee under the leadership of the Department of Natural Resources with representatives from the Etowah Water and Sewage, Dawson County Planning, Etowah Scenic River Committee, Georgia Forestry Commission. Wildlife Resources and other organizations including the Department of Aviation can be instrumental in moving the study forward with a minimum of delay. A wealth of existing information can be used for the study. For example the University of Georgia is already gathering information. Nature Conservancy and the Upper Etowah River Alliance has volumes of information about the rivers.The Georgia Forestry Commission and the Department of Natural Resources have existing plans for the area. Private organizations have offered their assistance on the study. The next step is a legislative field trip scheduled for April 19 to bring key individuals together to view the area and talk about the future of the river. We believe this designation can be a win-win situation for the future of Dawson County and the State of Georgia.

Bill Hess, Arlene McClure, Dan Centofanti
Ann Williams, Kurt Krattinger, Dave Rosselle

Etowah Scenic River Committee