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Old 02-16-2017, 05:53 PM
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Default Volunteer Chattahoochee WMA Cleanup

Hi all. It's been a while since I've posted here. I've still been at it on the water, and in the woods, just lurking here mostly lately.
Last year, I thought up an idea of trying to organize a volunteer workday where workers could gather to show thanks to our local Chattahoochee WMA. Well, I let the early year slip by me, and never tried to bring that idea to fruition. This year, I am determined to make it happen. I have spoken with Scott Bardenwerper of the DNR, and he gave me the greenlight, and said it was a great idea. Now, there are many WMA's in our region, and they all deserve some TLC. I chose Chattahoochee for two primary reasons:
1) Chattahoochee WMA is a high traffic area. We all know this. Consequently, it is a high trash area. I have been watching this litter grow and accumulate in greater and greater amounts as the years have passed.
2) I spend most of my time outdoors on or around Chattahoochee, and am able to easily identify areas that need more attention than others, so volunteers can focus their efforts in areas that require more work than others.
The time I had proposed to Scott was either the first or second Saturday in March. This is early in the season. Small game season is over, winter hoggin' is over. Turkey season is not yet in, and the majority of folks are going to be off of work or out of school. The weather SHOULD be temperate, and the leaves won't be out and masking the presence of trash.
My thought was to meet up early, split up and head to the areas of interest, work all day, and meet back up in the evening to see how much we were able to collect, and maybe for some kind of PR photo. My aim was to keep aluminum cans separate so that we can donate them at the can collection point for the City of Cornelia Fire Department.
With all that said, I'd appreciate any and all individuals who would be willing to step out and help. I feel like that place has given so much to me, all I want to do is give back. My aim with this initial post is to see what sort of support I can garner if any at all. I will be reposting this in other sub-forums here so it can be seen by other people who may not frequent this forum. I also plan to advertise this proposition on the NGTO forum, the Region 2 WMA Hunters FB page, and to the local chapters of trout unlimited.
There is no prize reward here, just the feeling of satisfaction after meeting up with fellow sportsmen who want to show their National Forest that they love her.
Even if no one shows up, I'll be up there one weekend in early March walking around with a trash bad and doing my part. I hope we can make this a reality and can bring it to life! If you are at all interested, I will work with Scott to get a hard date, and post this in an official announcement, or see if the mods can make it a sticker at the top of the threads list. Thank you all, and God bless!

-Kyle
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:40 PM
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Hey Kyle. Great idea and count me in. I quit my lease last year and have spent 4 - 5 days each month on Chattahoochee ever since. In my short time in the mountains I have already had some great experiences and would be happy to give some of my time to help keep that area beautiful. Shoot me a text once you decide on a date and I will do my best to be there.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:06 PM
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Hey Kyle. Great idea and count me in. I quit my lease last year and have spent 4 - 5 days each month on Chattahoochee ever since. In my short time in the mountains I have already had some great experiences and would be happy to give some of my time to help keep that area beautiful. Shoot me a text once you decide on a date and I will do my best to be there.
You are the first to respond J! Thank you so much for your interest! I home many more will follow. I will keep this thread up to date with the latest info, and will keep in touch over the course of the next few weeks. That's how to lead the way buddy. Thanks so much!!
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:16 AM
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If you pick a day when I'm not tied up, I'll come help. It's my backyard too.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:09 AM
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If you pick I weekday I too will join. Unfortunately I work Friday-Sunday, fortunately those are the only days I work. Would love to clean up with you guys.
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Old 02-18-2017, 09:34 AM
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Thanks NorthGASportsman and Joe!! I'll post up a final date next week!!
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:30 PM
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Same here, let me know. March is a busy month but maybe could make it work.
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Old 02-19-2017, 09:16 PM
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I'll try to make it. I keep a trash bag in the truck all the time for picking up what the slobs sling down. Unless it's used toilet paper or femine hygiene products. They get a pass. I found a brand new first-aid kit and a backpack cover still both in the packaging on Swallows Creek last year while picking up trash. Scotts a good guy, I went to school with him.
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:02 PM
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I'll try to be there. Just depends on where work sends me, next month. Chattahoochee has been kind to me, over the years. Saw & shot my first bear there. And my largest trout to date was caught there.
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Old 02-20-2017, 11:34 PM
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Hey guys, thanks so much for the interest! Right now, it's looking like it is going to be the second weekend in March. I am contacting the Chattahoochee River keeper non profit organization in the a.m., but their operation and work day covers nothing north of Hardman Farms and Smithgall which leaves me scratching my head since the very origin of the river is well north of that. The origins are Bear Den Creek, Dodd Creek, Jasus Creek, Low Gap Creek, Martin Branch, and the Upper Chattahoochee itself where if comes out of Coon Den Ridge north of the Upper Chattahoochee Campground. The Chattahoochee River keepers organization had a workday at Hardman Farms and Smithgall like I said, but these are not the headwaters. They are the confluence of many creeks and branches above that. The WMA itself needs a lot of love. I don't want to affiliate with the River keepers because they require you to register online as a participant, select your t-shirt size, give a donation, and sign a waiver. I don't want all of that. I just want a bunch of great guys and girls willing to roll up their sleeves, get wet, and get dirty, and do some serious work. No fancy t-shirt or prize involved. I want people to show Chattahoochee that they love her simply because they love her. If second weekend in March sounds good with you guys and girls, then the second weekend it is.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:29 AM
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Hey Kyle you know there are a lot of roads gated off right now that will be opened for the beginning of turkey season right? At least there are over my way. Opening day is March 25.
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Old 02-22-2017, 04:46 PM
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That should work for me. I know that many of the unofficial campsites scattered around the WMA often have trash left behind, as well as around some of the closed gates. Depending on how many people show up it would be fun to split up in pairs and tackle different sections of the WMA. Depending on the start time we could meet up for lunch or breakfast, let everyone put a face with a name and make a plan.
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:47 PM
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Hey guys and gals, I heard back from Scott today, and we have a greenlight for the 11th. I'm thinking 9:00 meetup at Ravens Cliffs (it is the only place that can accommodate parking in volume of any sort). John, if you want to meet up earlier for breakfast, then Im good with that too!
Ripple, the only road that will be opened for turkey season is Martin Branch Road, but it is already open. They left it open throughout the winter for some reason. Trash isn't too bad up there, but there is a little. I plan to collect up there throughout the spring and summer as I fish and hunt and scout. I've got some designated spots already in mind where we can get a lot of work done. It's going to be good to see some new faces as well as some familiar ones, and to get to meet some of you for the first time face to face. This event is also posted on the NGTO forum board, so some of those guys and some of my friends will be showing up as well. I'm excited about this opportunity, and am really looking forward to it!
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:22 PM
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As far as I know at this point, the 11th sounds good to me.
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:47 PM
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I cant believe they leave White Oak Gap road open all winter there are locked gates everywhere over my way right now. Do we have somewhere close to dump what we pick-up or will we need to dispose of it individually (where we live)?
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:42 AM
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kyle, name 2 or 3 trashy spots
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Old 02-25-2017, 09:53 AM
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Hey Ripple, yeah, white oak gap road stays open year round. It gets a LOT of traffic, especially on days like today. I'm about to head up to the WMA now to look around, and am going to swing by Ravens Cliffs. I can guarantee there are going to be minimum 80 cars there, and 65+ will be from metro Atlanta. Surprisingly enough, the trash isn't too bad there. There is a dumpster there, so I'm sure that had a lot to do with it.
Scott said they will arrange to dump the stuff we collect. Since we are meeting at Ravens Cliffs, we could just put it in the dumpster. I'll get clarification on the larger objects. I know a place where there are several chairs and a mattress and things like that. Worst comes to worst, I'll take care of the large items myself.

LongTom, probably the worst area is the Low Gap Campground, and other areas of interest are the pulloffs where fishermen park along the lower river stretch, and also a place at the bottom of Poplar Stomp road where some homeless people were living last year (for about six months!)
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:51 PM
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Thanks for doing this KK!!! I can only get up there once a year and it is a beautiful place!

Thanks for doing this!! Wish I could make it up and help you out...........but no way I can do it.

I might be up that way the first week in July..........if so.........I will certainly take some time to pick up some trash.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:47 AM
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Thanks for doing this KK!!! I can only get up there once a year and it is a beautiful place!

Thanks for doing this!! Wish I could make it up and help you out...........but no way I can do it.

I might be up that way the first week in July..........if so.........I will certainly take some time to pick up some trash.
Thanks brother! Hope we can get it squeeky clean for your next visit! I know a lot of folks can't make it, but I appreciate the support a lot! The WMA has been great to me, and it feels good to give back to a place that has so much history, beautiful fish, bears, great mountain deer, wildflowers, and grouse. We all know the feeling of a good, hard day's work, and completing the job. That's what I want out of this. Just a good feeling of working hard and getting something good done, and for a selfless reason. Really appreciate the kind words man!
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:36 PM
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Kyle, little cleaner now. 3 bags cans and bottles. Vandiver branch to low gap. Whole place still needs work.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:51 PM
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Kyle, little cleaner now. 3 bags cans and bottles. Vandiver branch to low gap. Whole place still needs work.
Did you go in there and clean?! If you did, that is what I love to see!! Did you go alone?! That is absolutely outstanding LONGTOM!!! I cannot adequately express my gratitude! That's how to lead the way my friend!!!!
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:00 PM
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Kyle, I have been fishing up there for over 60 years and hunting for nearly that long. I did not go below the road, too steep so there is plenty left for u kids lol. No I did not have anyone with me but when I am up there I am not alone!
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:19 PM
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Kyle, I have been fishing up there for over 60 years and hunting for nearly that long. I did not go below the road, too steep so there is plenty left for u kids lol. No I did not have anyone with me but when I am up there I am not alone!
That's really cool. GON is such a great place, especially the Bear Forum. Great group of men.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:47 PM
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Thank you so much LONGTOM. Feel free to join us on the 11th, but I believe you have already done your part regardless! I just had another volunteer sign up on the NGTO forum. He is from Lawrenceville. That makes two new volunteers from Gwinnett County today. The other was from Duluth. We are growing! We still need more volunteers. I am hoping we can muster around 20-30 by the 11th. Right now we are sitting around 12-15 solid, for sure volunteers.
LONGTOM, thank you again a million times. We need more folks like you roaming these woods!!!
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:09 AM
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Here is a flier my friend Tracy made for me. We are putting some up at state parks, college classrooms, and around Helen and at Ravens Cliffs.

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