Author Topic: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?  (Read 20918 times)

buckethead

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #15 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.

Ocklawaha

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #16 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.

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stjr

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #17 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:



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

Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

Ocklawaha

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2009, 12:14:29 AM »

Summer, about 1908


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
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 12:18:18 AM by Ocklawaha »

stjr

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #19 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:









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




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"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/ ):
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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
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stjr

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #20 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.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 01:02:24 AM by stjr »
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

stjr

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #21 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.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 12:34:25 AM by stjr »
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

stjr

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #22 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.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

Dog Walker

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2009, 08:55:51 AM »
Rockefeller was also responsible for the purchase and restoration of Williamsburg, Virginia. 
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Ocklawaha

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #24 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:

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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

stjr

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #25 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.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

copperfiend

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2009, 06:35:52 PM »
What about hot dog carts on a bridge?

Ocklawaha

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #27 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.


Quote
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

stjr

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #28 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?

Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

buckethead

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Re: J.E. Davis National Park, Jacksonville's Best Idea?
« Reply #29 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.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 04:45:00 PM by buckethead »