On February 5th, Savannah State University and the Harris Neck Land Trust co-sponsored a symposium on campus to highlight the Harris Neck land dispute story and to attempt to solicit support for the cause. An article in the Savannah Morning news
published on February 6th reported on the event.
The article and public statements by Land Trust representatives claim that F&WS "at the highest level in DC" is negotiating a deal to lease 800 acres of Harris Neck NWR to the Land Trust upon which they will build a museum, homes, and gardens. They also have stated that the deal will be consummated this year and that construction will start in 2015.
I would like to reassure Friends members and supporters that I have spoken to a National Wildlife Refuge Association representative and with US F&WS representatives and have been reassured that no such negotiations are ongoing.
In meetings last year the Land Trust was advised that F&WS would review any proposal the land Trust submitted for the private use of refuge lands using the same criteria used for any other group with similar proposals. So far, the F&WS has informed me that they have received no proposals from the Trust.
Friends group members from the Harris Neck NWR area are compiling a document giving a fact-based critical history of the entire issue (which began in 1942). It will be posted on this site when available.
This site will keep our members advised of any news concerning this issue. For more info on this long-running dispute, see our Harris Neck resource pages.