Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cumberland Island National Seashore/Variance Appeal

A statement from the Board of the St. Marys EarthKeepers:

To Whom it may Concern,

In the matter of the Cumberland Island National Seashore (CINS)/Lumar Hardship Variance Appeal, the Board of the St. Marys EarthKeepers has voted, unanimously, to withdraw from the legal challenge mounted by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of our organization and the National Parks Conservation Association. 

We withdraw not because we no longer oppose the variance or the development of the Lumar tract but because we wish to be able to freely disseminate information to the public and rally the citizens in support of a solution to the issue of the 1,000 acres of fee-simple land: a solution that will adhere to, and honor, the CINS enabling Congressional legislation. 

We cannot fulfill our organization's mandate - "To actively inform, encourage and galvanize the residents of St. Marys and the surrounding area in matters of effective environmental stewardship" - if we are constrained by engaging in a potentially-litigious process. 

The St. Marys EarthKeepers will continue to liaise with all involved parties and to mobilize the citizens of Camden County and beyond in service to the wellbeing of Cumberland Island National Seashore. 

We urge all parties involved to allow the National Park Service the time necessary to explore every avenue in their efforts to craft a solution to the conundrum that has long plagued those who cherish Cumberland Island. We have full faith in the intent and abilities of Superintendent Gary Ingram and wholeheartedly support him in his efforts to forge a path that will safeguard the Island – now and for generations to come.

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