You may recall that last June, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers restored necessary federal oversight to the proposed Twin Pines Minerals mine in southern Georgia, only to reverse this good decision two months later after Twin Pines sued. The short-lived June 2022 decision would have restored wetlands protections by revoking a Trump-era determination that the Clean Water Act didn't apply to Twin Pines’ mining activity.
If this latest decision—which is being litigated—stands, the Twin Pines proposed mine will not face extensive federal environmental analysis, and only the state of Georgia will decide whether to allow the massive heavy minerals sand mine at the doorstep of the Okefenokee Wilderness and National Wildlife Refuge. We need you to speak up now to help protect the Okefenokee.
On January 19, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) released Twin Pines Minerals LLC’s draft Mining Land Use Plan (Draft Plan) and opened a 60-day public comment period—allowing concerned citizens and Okefenokee advocates to voice their concerns and opposition to Twin Pines’ mining proposal. Please let EPD know you oppose the proposed Twin Pines Minerals mine.
The Alabama-based mining company is attempting to operate an 8,000-acre mine at the doorstep of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, a project that would devastate the ecological health of this iconic natural treasure. At more than 400,000 acres, the Okefenokee Swamp is the largest National Wildlife Refuge in the eastern United States, one of the world’s largest still intact blackwater swamp ecosystems, and important habitat for native wildlife such as black bears, American alligators, and red-cockaded woodpeckers. Okefenokee is also an International Dark Sky Park and a National Natural Landmark, a designation reserved for “the best examples of biological and geological features” in the country. At 354,000 acres, the Okefenokee Wilderness makes up almost 90 percent of the refuge and is one of the largest Wilderness areas in the East.
Water is critical to the well-being of Okefenokee, which is recognized worldwide as a Wetland of International Importance. The proposed mine could impact thousands of acres of wetlands, which would forever change the unique ecosystem of the swamp. Wilderness values like solitude, silence, and remoteness could be impacted by the close proximity of industrial mining activity and associated development.
Wilderness Watch is a member of the Okefenokee Protection Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 conservation organizations representing millions of members that have joined forces to save the Okefenokee from the proposed mine and other threats. Twin Pines’ proposed mining project has already drawn an unprecedented level of opposition—so far, more than 100,000 people from all 50 states and 36 countries have voiced their opposition to the mine, including thousands of Wilderness Watch members and supporters. It is critical that we step up once again and let the EPD know that jeopardizing the Okefenokee is unacceptable.
Please submit a public comment to EPD opposing the Twin Pines Minerals proposed mine before March 17.
Please tell GA EPD you oppose the Twin Pines Minerals proposed mine
Please visit www.wildernesswatch.org to see what other actions you can take to protect and defend America's National Wilderness Preservation System.
To make an even bigger impact, donate to Wilderness Watch.
Also, make sure to follow us:
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
You can also help spread the word on social media by clicking on the buttons below.