The Jaxson

Community => Parks, Recreation, and the Environment => Topic started by: stjr on September 26, 2009, 01:40:16 PM

Title: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 26, 2009, 01:40:16 PM
"The National Parks, America's Best Idea", a 6 part Ken Burns documentary starting tomorrow night at 8 PM on PBS and continuing through Friday night, promises to greatly boost American's appreciation of our national (and, hopefully, our state and local) parks and monuments.

Having visited some of our great western parks, such as Yosemite and Yellowstone, it's too bad more of the eastern U.S. hasn't been equally well preserved.  I am thinking that aside from the Everglades and the Smoky Mountains/Shenandoah Valley, we don't have nearly the expansive public lands preserved that the west has.

Locally, I think it would be great if someone would approach the Davis family about purchasing/donating their remaining tens of thousands of acres of their Dee Dot ranch and Nocatee properties for a really special preservation of what's left of historic and natural "old" Florida.  Combined with the Timucuan preserve, Jacksonville could have its own version of the "Yellowstone of the East"  which would also serve as a great tourist draw.  For the Davis Family, it would become an indelible legacy left for Florida and Jacksonville that would be remembered and appreciated far beyond their family businesses such as Winn-Dixie, American Heritage, Nocatee, and Pablo Creek.

For what it's worth, the Rockefeller Family did much to boost many of our national parks including buying up some 200,000 plus acres which they donated to the U.S. to create the Grand Teton National Park.  They also created St. John, Virgin Islands, National Park.  Several National Parks have tributes to them.


Quote
James Ellsworth "J.E." Davis, one of the four brothers who founded Winn-Dixie and the one who emerged as the family leader, focused on accumulating property -- 51,000 acres of which is known as the Dee Dot Ranch in southeastern Duval County and northeastern St. Johns County. But his descendants appear to be divesting themselves of those holdings.

From: http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/1999/07/19/story3.html

Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: buckethead on September 26, 2009, 02:25:05 PM
A pine plantation as a national park?
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 26, 2009, 03:51:58 PM
A pine plantation as a national park?

What's wrong with that?  How many acres of pine forests will be left in Duval County when all the land zoned for development gets developed?  Very little.

Add pristine intracoastal frontage, wetlands/swamps, disappearing and endangered Florida native flora and fauna, greenway connectivity, migratory birding, perhaps some archaeological and/or geological sites of interest, and a great "snippet" of what Northeast Florida really was before man invaded in big numbers - and, you have plenty of reasons to preserve this land than to overrun it with more urban sprawl.  Don't forget to add all the recreational opportunities for visitors:  hiking and bicyling trails, waterways for canoeing, kayaking, and boating, nature watching, camping, general back-to-nature communing, etc.

That's what preservation is all about - saving something that is otherwise disappearing forever. When your descendants view this area, what you have always taken for granted will be gone forever without such actions. 

Perhaps, you need to visit more of our great parks to understand what you have lost already.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 26, 2009, 04:50:57 PM
For attendance at National Parks, Historic Sites, Memorials, etc. for the years 2004 to 2008 by location, see: http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/viewReport.cfm .

Interestingly, the Timucan National Ecoloigcial and Historical Preserve shows over 1 million visitors in 2008 and Ft. Caroline shows about 280,000.  To the south, Fort Matanzas had 813,000 and Castillo De San Marcos had 619,000.  Those are substantial numbers and show the economic development potential already being derived.

Below is a National Park Service review I found on the year 2007:


Quote
The 58 national parks were the most popular park category in 2007 with 62.3 million visits...

Ten Most Visited National Parks, 2007 Recreational Visits

1.Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 9,372,253
2.Grand Canyon National Park, 4,413,668
3.Yosemite National Park, 3,503,428
4.Yellowstone National Park, 3,151,343
5.Olympic National Park, 2,988,686
6.Rocky Mountain National Park, 2,895,383
7.Zion National Park, 2,657,281
8.Grand Teton National Park, 2,588,574
9.Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 2,486,656
10.Acadia National Park, 2,202,228

According to the National Park Service's latest overview of historical visitation statistics, it recorded 1 million visits to parks in 1920, 17 million visits in 1940, 79 million visits in 1960, 198 million visits in 1980, 286 million in 2000, and 273 million in 2006. In total it reports, that since 1916, more than 17 billion people have visited national parks.

From:http://www.peoplelandandwater.gov/nps/nps_02-27-07_national_park_service.cfm
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Ocklawaha on September 26, 2009, 07:35:02 PM
stjr, I love the idea, but not the location. Did you know there is a jet airport 8,000 ft runway and all, in the middle of that land? I rather agree that a pine plantation, flat, with some extensive wetlands isn't all that varied. The Timucan Preserve on the other hand, could be made into a REAL wetlands national park similar but very different then the glades. The other location would be the Ocala National Forest, with its crystal springs, hills, swamps, and lakes. If we were to push that East over US17 and around the East side of Crescent Lake there is a wetlands area that extends from there all the way to Okeechobee.

Some of that Davis Property would make for a great State or regional park, did you know this is where the intercoastal waterway idea was hatched in the 1500's? Yep. We were also the LAST SEGMENT finished! Go figure, it's Jacksonville, but some interesting history.

Keep me posted, I am very interested.  


OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Ocklawaha on September 26, 2009, 07:50:37 PM
Stjr, here's the airport data, would still make for a cool fly-in/lodge/resort/State Park complex.  

Quote
Deep Forest Airport  
General Type: Airport, Status: Operational, Acivation Date: 10/01/1985, Land Area Covered By Airport: 50 acres, Ownership: Privately owned, Facility Use: Private, Site Number: 03250.2*A, Location ID: FD48, Region: Southern, District Office: ORL, Aeronautical sectional chart: Jacksonville, Tie-In FSS: No, Tie-In FSS ID: GNV, Tie-In FSS Name: Gainesville, Tie-In FSS Toll-Free Number: 1-800-WX-BRIEF, Elevation: 24 ft, Elevation determination method: Estimated, Air traffic control tower: No, Boundary ARTCC (FAA) computer ID: ZCJ, Boundary ARTCC ID: ZJX, Boundary ARTCC Name: Jacksonville, Airspace Determination: Conditional, NOTAM Service: No, Inspection Group: Owner, Inspection Method: 5010-2 Private use mail out program
Location State: Florida, County: Duval, City: Jacksonville, GPS (Degrees): Lat: 30° 14' 30.870'', Lng: -81° 26' 59.307'', GPS (Seconds): Lat: 30.241908, Lng: -81.449807, GPS determination method: Estimated, Distance from central business district: 12 mi (E), Find on map >>
Owner George Hodges, Jr., Po Box 16771, Jacksonville, Fl 32245-6771, 904-509-8501
Manager John R. Cathey, 5101 Hodges Blvd., Jacksonville, Fl 32245-7393, 904-223-0153
Schedule Unattended facility
Aircrafts Jet Engine Aircrafts: 2
Additional Fuel Types: A1, Magnetic Variation: 3W (Year 1985), Lighting Schedule: Phone Req, Non-Commercial Landing Fee: No, Wind direction indicator: Yes, Segmented circle airport marker system: No
Remarks Airspace Determination: VFR, PVT USE ONLY.



OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 26, 2009, 09:25:41 PM
Ock, here is an aerial of the runway from Google Maps:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=jacksonville,+fl&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.223579,79.013672&ie=UTF8&ll=30.239827,-81.448388&spn=0.026435,0.038581&t=h&z=15&iwloc=A

Unfortunately, you can't say it's in the middle of the property anymore,  rather, it's along side the Pablo Creek golf course.  I doubt this runway is so valuable that it couldn't be cost effectively removed and/or converted to parking or an entry drive for a park, etc.

I will settle for a great state park if the feds don't think the land measures up.  However, I still think the land is worth setting aside for preservation as it's the only land block of that size close to the intracoastal in this area.  It's also easily accessible and in an area already maxed out for infrastructure, traffic, and water resources.

As per the below view, you can see it has lots of swamp and wetlands mixed in plus great frontage on the intracoastal. 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=jacksonville,+fl&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=49.223579,79.013672&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=30.165314,-81.44165&spn=0.211639,0.308647&z=12&iwloc=A

If we assume that all flat pine forested land is undistinguished, before you know it, we won't have any of it left.  Being that most of North Florida is like this, what examples will remain that are visible and accessible to most people?  With the eastern U.S. lacking the drama of western landscapes, this type of thinking is why we are lacking by far in the scale of our parks and preserved lands in this half of the country.  You don't need a Yosemite to create a great park.


Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Ocklawaha on September 26, 2009, 09:43:58 PM
I certainly agree that part if not all should be preserved. BTW, did you note south of the end of the runway, across the creek, appears to be a neighborhood that was removed... Odd. Maybe it's the other way around, but it looks like used land.

IDEA: I wouldn't move that airport or change a thing, also access via JTB or the Intercoastal would make this perhaps the only park in the State with 3 way access. I would follow Oklahoma's Que (Fantastic park system) and create a State resort or lodge. Canoes, fishing boats, golf, nature, camping, wilderness... Unreal opportunities. Be great to compensate them for the land if they were willing to meet us somewhere in the middle?

National Park Service is always looking for the unusual, outstanding, or incredible for their "collection". If they really had an interest in THE SOUTH, why weren't they in the Okefenokee and surrounding National Forests about 80 years ago? That is still nothing more then state land, preserve, etc...  Unusual? Yeah, did y'all know that the Okefenokee Swamp is thought to be the only Swamp in the World that rides crest of a continental divide? THE SWAMP IS ON TOP OF A HILL!
Let's see NPS beat that one. Heck, we could have a big entry between Jax and Lake City, and it would put Waycross and Valdosta back on the maps of the masses.

The only trouble with NPS today is the tree huggers (I'm talking only the extreme radicals) have made so much noise, and there is no longer a CCC that development like the Harvey/Santa Fe lodges or the Yosemite Valley Railroads, Yosemite Lodge, just aren't done today. Ditto for the cool rock walls, walks, pavilions, rustic shops, etc...

HEY! MAYBE WE COULD RUN THE SKYWAY OUT TO IT! Just Kidding!  


OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: CS Foltz on September 27, 2009, 08:10:56 AM
Interesting guy's! I did not know that strip was even there! It must be nice to have a private strip that close to the beach area............from the looks of it, almost thought there was a 9 hole golf course there. Park there would tie in nicely with the Timuquana Park for sure.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: fsu813 on September 27, 2009, 08:32:21 AM
ok, so which one of you is gonna contact Mr. Davis?
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: lindab on September 27, 2009, 08:43:27 AM
The Okefenokee Swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge. It has be designated since the 1930s.

By the way, what do you think makes land a National Park or even a state park - just acres of trees and someone willing to sell to the government at the appraised rate?  Not by a long shot. And thanks for that snippy remark about tree huggers - they are some of the most active people in getting state and national parks designated.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: buckethead on September 27, 2009, 08:56:33 AM
I built a house for a tree hugger.

Styrofoam igloo type house. He was .... wait for it.....




















A lumber salesman.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Ocklawaha on September 27, 2009, 12:03:48 PM
The Okefenokee Swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge. It has be designated since the 1930s.

By the way, what do you think makes land a National Park or even a state park - just acres of trees and someone willing to sell to the government at the appraised rate?  Not by a long shot. And thanks for that snippy remark about tree huggers - they are some of the most active people in getting state and national parks designated.

Your right about the Okefenokee, at least in part it is a refuge. The wilds of that swamp extend well into Florida, it's much bigger then a gator farm. My point is, if we want NATIONAL PARK land in this area, which WOULD increase tourism, I'd start with the swamp and the Ocala National Forest. Both large, and both very unique.

The snippy remark, if you'll go back and read it says the radical tree huggers. These are the guys that drive metal spikes into trees so when they are hit by a chainsaw, the logger gets injured or killed. It's like the "Animal Rights", issues, maybe we should call it, "plant rights" issues? Neither are granted rights in the Constitution, but I would certainly fight for them to be treated with kindness, and conservation.

The early NPS was able to take advantage of the CCC during the depression years to really make the NPS special. Today they are gone and we have people wanting to preserve these places but NOT allow any human access... To me that is just stupid. We are family, and we all share this land.


OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: reednavy on September 27, 2009, 12:30:24 PM
We'll see another expressway plow through that in a few decades.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Dog Walker on September 27, 2009, 12:45:52 PM
The "tree huggers" in this area are responsible for the Talbot Islands State Park, Guana State Park (The Duval Audubon Society led the way on these two) and the Timucuan Reserve, which takes in all of the marsh wetlands and rivers between the St. John's and Nassau Rivers as well as some of the uplands.  This latter was pushed by a coalition of local groups, Audubon, Sierra, Defenders of Wildlife, the Riverkeeper, et. al. who went to Charlie Bennett with the idea.

People who put spikes in trees and stop building of facilities within our National Parks are not tree huggers, radical or otherwise.  They are self-haters and by extension haters of all humans.  They have exactly the same psychological motivations as fundamentalist religious fanatics, just in a slightly different flavor.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: buckethead on September 27, 2009, 01:24:21 PM
The "tree huggers" in this area are responsible for the Talbot Islands State Park, Guana State Park (The Duval Audubon Society led the way on these two) and the Timucuan Reserve, which takes in all of the marsh wetlands and rivers between the St. John's and Nassau Rivers as well as some of the uplands.  This latter was pushed by a coalition of local groups, Audubon, Sierra, Defenders of Wildlife, the Riverkeeper, et. al. who went to Charlie Bennett with the idea.

People who put spikes in trees and stop building of facilities within our National Parks are not tree huggers, radical or otherwise.  They are self-haters and by extension haters of all humans.  They have exactly the same psychological motivations as fundamentalist religious fanatics, just in a slightly different flavor.
Nice analysis.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Ocklawaha on September 27, 2009, 05:59:12 PM
Right Dog Walker, but they do vocally claim to be "tree huggers". As a self label they do far more damage then good. I believe we are on the same side here, having lived in the Yosemite Valley area and the Pacific Northwest, I have a nasty taste for those bums. BTW, I knew Charlie Bennett, and talked to him several times about some of these very projects! Well, that AND streetcars of course.  

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 28, 2009, 12:09:55 AM
In the Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks, it is truly moving to see what it took in perseverance of nature lovers and those dedicated to preserving something special for future generations to set our country on the path of creating parks owned by all of our citizens, not the privileged few or the those that only cared to turn them into "carnivals" to exploit tourist dollars.  Every American will feel a special touch of patriotism, awe, and connection to our inner "wildness" upon watching this.

Ironically, much of the parks movement was driven by the desire to avoid the early 1800's distasteful and embarrassingly exploitative over-development of Niagara Falls.

Yosemite was created, in part, at the urgings of James Hutchings who, once it was established, initially as a transfer from the Feds to a California STATE park, tried to exploit it so much that he was eventually banished from the property forever.

Likewise, Yellowstone was set aside as our first national park (because Wyoming was not yet a state, just a Federal territory) at the urging of the for-profit Northern Pacific Railroad that hoped to improve its chances for raising $100 million to build the RR if there was something worthwhile along the route for tourists to see.  Ultimately, it took General Sheridan and the U.S. Calvary to protect the park from exploitation for over 30 years to insure its survival.

Of course, both Yosemite and Yellowstone also resulted in the native Indians being driven from their land.

The promotional writing of Hutchings and the moving and wondrous writings of naturalist John Muir and the Hayden expeditions, along with the pictorials provided by artist Thomas Moran and photographer William Henry Jackson (for whom Jackson Hole and Jackson Valley, WY are named) moved many, including Congress, to set aside these lands even though most had never seen them.

It took people who had extraordinary vision and passion to insure that lands such as these were set aside for posterity.  At the time, there were plenty of "economic development" types that saw little value to these parks and fought their creation.

Locally, the question is, do we have such visionaries in our community that see the value of setting aside more of our precious beauty for future generations or, is it all about "economic development" for today, the future be damned?

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by Thomas Moran:

(http://summeratbbhc.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/moran2.jpg?w=450&h=257)

Photo by William Henry Jackson of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone:

(http://z.about.com/d/history1800s/1/7/J/5/-/-/jackson-grand-canyon-of-the-yellowstone.jpg)
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Ocklawaha on September 28, 2009, 12:14:29 AM
(http://www.xmission.com/~emailbox/glenda/bierstadt/b-hetch_hetchy_valley2.jpg)
Summer, about 1908

(http://sunsetinn-yosemitecabins.com/images/530_Hetch_Hetchy_Valley,_spring_2007.jpg)
Spring 2007

The greatest tragic loss in the Sierra Nevada range was the damming and distruction of the Hetch Hetchy Valley. As fantastic as the Yosemite Valley, and in the Northwestern part of the National Park (in part) In fact it starts above Half Dome, along an alpine creek, high ABOVE the Yosemite Valley we all know.  

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 28, 2009, 02:38:03 AM
The greatest tragic loss in the Sierra Nevada range was the damming and distruction of the Hetch Hetchy Valley. As fantastic as the Yosemite Valley, and in the Northwestern part of the National Park (in part) In fact it starts above Half Dome, along an alpine creek, high ABOVE the Yosemite Valley we all know.  

OCKLAWAHA
Pictures below are of Hetch Hetchy Valley before it was dammed:

(http://www.sociology.ohio-state.edu/people/tjc/hetch_hetchy.jpg)

(http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/7759/hetchhetchyvalley11zb.jpg)

(http://img398.imageshack.us/img398/8894/hetchhetchynv1911floor1lr.jpg)

(http://home.comcast.net/~hetch-hetchy-indians/Hetch_Hetchy_Valley.JPG)

Pictures below is of the dam and valley as it is today:


(http://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/dams_of_ca/O%27Shaughnessy%20Dam.jpg)

Quote
"Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man."
-- John Muir

A web site featuring Harrison Ford and devoted to the movement to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural state is here:  http://www.hetchhetchy.org/

Hetch Hetchy's restoration remains a top priority of the Sierra Club as well (see: http://www.sierraclub.org/ca/hetchhetchy/ ):
Quote
Mention Hetch Hetchy Valley to long-time Sierra Club members and their response is immediate: a heartfelt feeling of deep sadness for what has been lost, and a fervent hope that what has been lost can somehow be regained.

Probably no environmental issue symbolizes the Sierra Club's historical role in protecting the Earth's natural wonders like its efforts to preserve and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.
Hetch Hetchy before the dam

Following a fierce nationwide debate led by John Muir and Will Colby of the Sierra Club, the City of San Francisco was authorized by the U.S. Congress, in the Raker Act of 1913, to construct a dam and reservoir on the Tuolumne River in Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. The O'Shaughnessy Dam was completed in 1923 and, after the necessary pipelines and power houses were completed, San Francisco began using water from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir for its water supply and electrical power generation.

John Muir, the first president of the Sierra Club and someone who is often called the "Father of our National Parks," spoke of Hetch Hetchy Valley as "a wonderfully exact counterpart" of Yosemite Valley, and therefore "one of nature's rarest and most precious mountain temples." Josiah D. Whitney, former State Geologist of California, stated that Hetch Hetchy Valley "is not on quite as grand a scale as [Yosemite] Valley; but if there were no Yosemite, the Hetch Hetchy would be fairly entitled to a world-wide fame; and, in spite of the superior attractions of the Yosemite, a visit to its counterpart may be recommended, if it be only to see how curiously nature has repeated herself."

An Indian description of it as it was to the Indians can be found at:

http://home.comcast.net/~hetch-hetchy-indians/Hetch_Hetchy_Indian_History.html
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 29, 2009, 12:24:54 AM
Ock, tonight, in Episode 2, Ken Burns spend did a huge segment on John Muir's fight to save Hetch Hetchy Valley from being dammed, even including his quote I cited above!  It appears to be Muir's only significant defeat.  They attribute Teddy Roosevelt's approval to responding to San Francisco's push following the 1906 earthquake there.  Roosevelt felt he couldn't afford to alienate the residents of California for the long term support of Yosemite.

Interestingly, President Taft reversed Roosevelt's approval upon the continued urging of Muir and others.  But, when Woodrow Wilson came in, his Secretary of Interior was the former city attorney for San Francisco who made quick work of securing the ultimate approval leading to the dam's construction.  They show video of it being built and it is quite disturbing to see the damage being done to the Valley.

The silver lining was that the political backlash to the Hetch Hetchy dam led to much stronger protections for all national parks thereafter.

By the way, they have done as much to highlight Teddy Roosevelt as the savior of our treasured lands as John Muir.  He was quite a character and the national parks and monuments are turning out to be his greatest legacy.  LOCAL politicians take note!!!!

FYI, Roosevelt wandered alone for up to 18 miles in Yellowstone while visiting as President.  And, in Yosemite, he rode off with John Muir for several days of secluded camping, standing up local dignitaries that had planned a big reception party for him without any notice.  On that round of trips to the west he covered 14,000 miles, 150 cities, 25 states, and gave 200 speeches by ground transportation - all in just 8 weeks.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 29, 2009, 12:26:49 AM
I reexamined the aerial of the Davis property and it has the additional ability, with some of the Nocatee land south of its new parkway, to directly front Guana River State Park on the other side of the intracoastal forming an extensive greenway and continuous ecosystem.  I continue to suggest this land is worthy of being forever conserved.

I also suggest that other properties bounding the intracoastal between Jax and St. Augustine be considered as part of a larger master plan for preservation.

As one hears the comments made by Muir, Roosevelt, and other visionaries of their times, it is so very clear that such voices are still needed to this day to further insure what we take for granted will remain for future generations.  We can give no greater gift to our descendants who might admire our foresight as we now admire those featured by the Ken Burns program.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on September 30, 2009, 10:47:22 PM
Tonight's National Parks Segment (Episode 4) focused attention on John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  In the 1920's and 1930's, he acquired and gave to the people of the U.S. millions of dollars worth of special lands and improvements in Acadia, Yosemite, Grand Teton, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, among others.  About half of Grand Teton and Great Smoky Mountains was assembled with his money.  When approached by the National Park Service's Albright about a dream for acquiring the Jackson Valley for the Tetons park, Rockefeller said he would only do it if it was done completely right, i.e. not acquiring PART of the Valley, but the ENTIRE Valley.

Do such philanthropists exist in our area to perform on such a scale such as this?  Can they impose such great visions on our community?  If so, it is never too late for them to make their presence known.  Opportunities await.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Dog Walker on October 01, 2009, 08:55:51 AM
Rockefeller was also responsible for the purchase and restoration of Williamsburg, Virginia. 
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Ocklawaha on October 01, 2009, 10:18:08 AM
There is a great railroad book (probably out of print) "Hetch Hetchy and it's Dam Railroad." It's a great read if you like obscure trains. The hope today is Don Pedro, which is much lower in elevation, down in the foothills. Don Pedro, took out the historic town of Jacksonville (something about that name + demolition?), and the old railroad.

Here's a little information:

Quote
While Lake Don Pedro is not part of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct, its tunnels cross under the upper end of the reservoir. Lake Don Pedro could easily be tied into that system in the future, and the efforts of the Restore Hetch Hetchy group to drain the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley depend largely on that possibility. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), of which Hetch Hetchy Water and Power is a division, provided about 45% of the funds for construction of the 1971 New Don Pedro Dam and so has the right to store 570,000 acre feet (0.70 km³) of water in the reservoir. Each year, San Francisco takes about 230,000 acre feet (280,000,000 m3). The rights of the MID and the TID are senior to those of SFPUC, however, so in dry years MID and TID can draw down the reservoir to meet their own needs before providing water to San Francisco's Hetch Hetchy Water and Power.

There is also some hot talk about rebuilding the Yosemite Valley Railroad from Merced to El Portal. This project if it ever happens is likely to be LRT this time around. It would take some new grading on the foothill or west slope because expansion of ANOTHER dam burried part of the grade.  

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on October 01, 2009, 06:26:09 PM
Rockefeller was also responsible for the purchase and restoration of Williamsburg, Virginia. 

They also gave us about 90% of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.  Another beautiful national park worthy of everyone's visit.  In another 100 to 200 years, the Rockefeller's may be remembered far more for these parks than for their oil and railroad endeavors.  Local politicians and philanthropists should take note on what accomplishments truly stand the test of time.  Cutting property taxes too deeply and then butchering our quality of life isn't likely to be one of them.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: copperfiend on October 01, 2009, 06:35:52 PM
What about hot dog carts on a bridge?
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Ocklawaha on October 01, 2009, 06:52:43 PM
Tonight's National Parks Segment (Episode 4) focused attention on John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  In the 1920's and 1930's, he acquired and gave to the people of the U.S. millions of dollars worth of special lands and improvements in Acadia, Yosemite, Grand Teton, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks, among others.  About half of Grand Teton and Great Smoky Mountains was assembled with his money.  When approached by the National Park Service's Albright about a dream for acquiring the Jackson Valley for the Tetons park, Rockefeller said he would only do it if it was done completely right, i.e. not acquiring PART of the Valley, but the ENTIRE Valley.

Do such philanthropists exist in our area to perform on such a scale such as this?  Can they impose such great visions on our community?  If so, it is never too late for them to make their presence known.  Opportunities await.


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The only problem, though, was that the locals were not so keen on the idea. Indeed, it took some quiet -- some would say "shady" -- negotiations by the John Rockefeller, Jr.-financed Snake River Land Company to create the park much as it stands today.

In 1897, Col. S.B.M. Young, at the time Yellowstone's acting superintendent, suggested that Yellowstone be expanded to the south to take in the northern tip of the Jackson Hole Valley. A year later the head of the U.S. Geological Survey recommended that the Teton Range be included in the package, and in 1917 a fledgling federal agency known as the National Park Service called on the Tetons to be merged into Yellowstone.

The "original" Grand Teton National Park was set aside by Congress on this date in 1929, but its borders only surrounded the Tetons and their six glacial lakes, leaving out much of the pastoral landscape that today wraps U.S. 191/89/26.

While Mr. Rockefeller, at the prodding of Horace Albright, then Yellowstone's superintendent, funded the land company in the 1920s with an eye toward acquiring 35,000 more acres for the park, it took more than 20 years before the land was transferred to the park.

Much of the problem involved Jackson Hole land owners, who initially didn't want to see their private land turned into a park. They became so perturbed with Mr. Rockefeller and the NPS that in 1933 both were hauled before the U.S. Senate to answer questions about predatory land purchases and conspiracy with each other to ‘backdoor’ the park into existence.


This could be very interesting tonight!

OCKLAWAHA
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on October 02, 2009, 10:45:53 PM
Episode 6, the last of the National Parks series on PBS, tonight highlighted a handful of hundreds of National Monuments, and among them, our own Kingsley Plantation, complete with an historic photograph of the slave quarters.  The treasures in our own midst....!

This series should be an inspiration to all who chose to stand up for the preservation of our natural lands and historic sites.  It's simply amazing the energies, sacrifices, lifetimes, resources, and efforts that some very special people over the last 150 or so years have put into securing that which most of us take for granted.  Probably a few dozen people can take much of the credit for the entire system.  Today, the Parks are universally loved, but much of this is in hindsight, not foresight.

A great example is highlighted in Seward, Alaska, where their citizens and city council fought, and then were militant when overridden, the Carter administration designating much of the land in their area as a national monument/park.  Just a few years later, having seen the clean industry of tourism come to their community, they not only reversed course by rescinding their protest resolutions, they went to the previously mistrusted Feds, and asked them to EXPAND the size of their park areas!

Will future generations of North Florida and Jacksonville residents look back and laud our preservation efforts, or curse us for the lack of will to leave our treasures to them?

Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: buckethead on October 03, 2009, 04:43:27 PM
Just caught an afternnon showing of two episodes while looking for a decent football game to watch.

First of all, thanks for mentioning the series, as it is waht sparked my interest when I saw the title on the TV directory.

This is a stunningly beautiful documentary, and each time they quoted John Muir, I was convicted by his every word.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to him, Teddy Roosevelt and others who dared to offend.

 

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Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

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God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.


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There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation's braggart lords.


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When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe
.


Perhaps the suggestion of a national park in our area is not so bad.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: reednavy on October 03, 2009, 06:07:04 PM
Instead of a Nat'l park, set aside some of the land for a tropical gardens and arboretum.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: stjr on July 02, 2010, 12:44:45 AM
Given recent area events further depreciating our area's natural environment, this idea bears a repeat review.

"The National Parks, America's Best Idea", a 6 part Ken Burns documentary starting tomorrow night at 8 PM on PBS and continuing through Friday night, promises to greatly boost American's appreciation of our national (and, hopefully, our state and local) parks and monuments.

Having visited some of our great western parks, such as Yosemite and Yellowstone, it's too bad more of the eastern U.S. hasn't been equally well preserved.  I am thinking that aside from the Everglades and the Smoky Mountains/Shenandoah Valley, we don't have nearly the expansive public lands preserved that the west has.

Locally, I think it would be great if someone would approach the Davis family about purchasing/donating their remaining tens of thousands of acres of their Dee Dot ranch and Nocatee properties for a really special preservation of what's left of historic and natural "old" Florida.  Combined with the Timucuan preserve, Jacksonville could have its own version of the "Yellowstone of the East"  which would also serve as a great tourist draw.  For the Davis Family, it would become an indelible legacy left for Florida and Jacksonville that would be remembered and appreciated far beyond their family businesses such as Winn-Dixie, American Heritage, Nocatee, and Pablo Creek.

For what it's worth, the Rockefeller Family did much to boost many of our national parks including buying up some 200,000 plus acres which they donated to the U.S. to create the Grand Teton National Park.  They also created St. John, Virgin Islands, National Park.  Several National Parks have tributes to them.


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James Ellsworth "J.E." Davis, one of the four brothers who founded Winn-Dixie and the one who emerged as the family leader, focused on accumulating property -- 51,000 acres of which is known as the Dee Dot Ranch in southeastern Duval County and northeastern St. Johns County. But his descendants appear to be divesting themselves of those holdings.

From: http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/1999/07/19/story3.html

Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: CW on November 05, 2018, 11:10:17 AM
Old Florida.  As a native Floridian, who's family line goes all the way back to the first Seminole War, we have decided over many years of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas meals, that the real problem with Florida started with the invention of the affordable room air conditioner.  You want FLA to be the largest National Park in the land?  outlaw AC.
Title: Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
Post by: Florida Power And Light on February 06, 2019, 08:48:00 AM
Even in the face of championing National Parks the National Forest lands often adjacent to National Park boundary are hardly noted.

In Northeast Florida "Pine Plantations",'Working Lands',Agriculture and Ranch are the key reasons these lands remain undeveloped today.

One "Sector Plan" after another accommodating future development vesting we see promotions of lands "Preserved" which basically equates to preserving the preserved-vast wetland belts. Dryer lands,uplands rare and a key component of natural landscape function and 'value'.

National Park implementation is a curious rambling conversation,the real need in the Jacksonville area is to pursue the Ocala National Forest to Osceola National Forest Corridor ('O2O'),Northeast Florida Timberland Reserve and a host of other projects and elements.

The pause in Florida's environmental land purchase and management program has been definitive in lost opportunity- I suggest these matters take precedence over aspirations for National Park lands expansion.

And monitor regional and county land use plans for substantial deviations altering elements of existing Ag and Conservation.
Most citizens would be amazed that the visual landscape we see now might not what be what you get,or perhaps even sold on,future growth vested yet not yet progressing to bulldozer on site.
I was one of the first to be alerted to Nocatee years ago before the name of the development was unveiled; noted a curious future projection proposal for St Augustine Road extension.