Actually, I'll let Buzz Williams, Director of The Chattooga Conservancy, tell the story as he's a fabulous writer and committed conservationist. This whole saga-for-the-times reads like a crime novel! Here's a sample. Click at bottom for the full tale.
Nonetheless, Mayor Bailes (of Walhalla) showed up the following Saturday at the Community Center in Mountain Rest, SC, to answer questions about the proposed land sale and made a patronizing attempt to justify the sale. The mayor preached to the crowd about the benefits of the proposed development, predicting prosperity for Walhalla as a result of the projected tax revenue that the development would bring. Many left feeling that the dye had been cast.Read full story from the beginning here. (This cross-posted at Peach Pundit too.)
It was about this time that the Chattooga Conservancy stepped into an important role in the effort to save the Walhalla watershed property. Everyone to this point had been asking questions about just who the mysterious developer was that had made the offer to buy the watershed property. An anonymous tip lead us to a Joe Simmons, who we reached by telephone. In an extended conversation, Simmons declared that he loved the property and promised to develop it to the highest environmental standards. He also revealed significant clues about his identify that would later become very important.