Harris Neck

congress-1

 

  WHEREAS, the land known as Harris Neck, located in the northeast corner of McIntosh

County, was home in 1942 for approximately 75 families, and

  WHEREAS, Harris Neck had been home to these families since the land was legally

bequeathed to them, via the Last Will & Testament of Margret Ann Harris,

on September 2, 1865, and

  WHEREAS, the land and waters in and around Harris Neck provided this community

with its essential livelihood, and

  WHEREAS, the community had lived in harmony with nature from 1865 to 1942 and

had a completely sustainable and self-sufficient way of life, and

WHEREAS, the Federal government took the 2,687 acres of land, that was the home

and livelihood of the community known as Harris Neck, from these 75 families in the summer of

1942 under the auspices of Eminent Domain, and

  WHEREAS, this particular use of Eminent Domain was improper and incorrect and,

therefore, illegally and wrongfully implemented, and

WHEREAS, the community’s rights to due process were violated in numerous ways during

this implementation of Eminent Domain, and

  WHEREAS, the Federal government in 1942 promised that these 2,687 acres of Harris

Neck would be returned to the rightful owners – the 75 families – at the end of World War II, and

WHEREAS, certain residents of McIntosh County conspired to gain control of the land

of Harris Neck from the Federal government at the end of World War II, and

WHEREAS, McIntosh County did obtain control of these 2,687 acres of Harris Neck

after World War II, and

WHEREAS, the contract between the Federal War Assets Administration and McIntosh

County, signed in 1947, stipulated that Harris Neck be used only as an airport for the county, and

WHEREAS, the Federal government took back these 2,687 acres from McIntosh County

in 1961 because McIntosh County violated this contract in numerous illegal ways, and

WHEREAS, the Federal government then transferred ownership of these 2,687 acres to the

Department of Interior in 1962, and

  WHEREAS, the Department of Interior established a National Wildlife Refuge on these

2,687 acres to be managed by the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife, and

WHEREAS, these 2,687 acres have been managed from 1962 to the present by U. S.

Fish and Wildlife, and

WHEREAS, this transfer of ownership to the Department of Interior was improper and,

therefore, illegal since the original taking of the land in 1942 was improper and also illegal, and

WHEREAS, the actions of the Federal government in 1942 and after World War II took

away the livelihood of the community of Harris Neck, and

WHEREAS, the Federal government did not keep its promise and did not return the land

of Harris Neck to its rightful owners – the 75 families – but instead gave the land to McIntosh

County, and

WHEREAS, the actions of the Federal government destroyed the community of Harris

Neck and the entire way of life of the families who called Harris Neck their home and led to

great hardships for the people of this community, and

WHEREAS, former members of the Harris Neck community and their descendants

have formed the Harris Neck Land Trust, and

WHEREAS, this Trust represents the original 75 families of Harris Neck and their

descendants, and

WHEREAS, this Trust has agreed to protect the six existing ponds on Harris Neck - all of

which were created by the Department of Fish and Wildlife – and the migratory birds that use these

ponds, in perpetuity, once the land is returned by the Federal government, and

WHEREAS, this Trust has agreed to protect the lands and waters of Harris Neck, in

perpetuity, once the land is returned by the Federal government, and

  WHEREAS, this Trust has also agreed to restrictions on future sale of the land as well

as restrictions on the use of the land, i.e. that the land will be used in environmentally sensitive

ways, after it is returned by the Federal government, and

WHEREAS, this Trust is now representing the former community members of Harris

Neck and their descendants with present and ongoing efforts to have a bill introduced in the

Congress of the United States so that said bill can become law and effect the return of the 2,824

acres of land of Harris Neck to its rightful owners – the living former members of the Harris

Neck community and their descendants, and

WHEREAS, it is fitting that we should recognize the Harris Neck Land Trust as the

legal entity pursuing the return of the 2,687 acres of Harris Neck by the Federal government to its

rightful owners,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of McIntosh

County, Georgia, in lawful meeting on this 9th day of January, 2007, that the Board of

Commissioners hereby recognizes the Harris Neck Land Trust and encourages and supports the

Trust with its efforts to regain these 2,687 acres of Harris Neck from the Federal government.

This 9th day of January, 2007.

__________________________________________________
BOYD GAULT

_________________________________
NATHANIEL GROVNER

  _________________________________
STEPHEN D. JESSUP

_________________________________
CHARLES E. JORDAN

_________________________________
OWEN A. GREENE

ATTEST: _______________________
ELENORE L. GALE, Clerk

Signatures

March 31, 2012