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Office of Greenways and Trails

Columbia County Recreation Area
The property, formerly known as the Anderson Mining Corporation- Columbia City Mine, was purchased as part of the Ichetucknee Trace Florida Forever Project. The purpose of the acquisition was to protect the water quality of Ichetucknee Springs by removing the threat of further mining and groundwater contamination along the area believed to be a major conduit to Ichetucknee Springs. The property is approximately 11 miles southwest of Lake City, 2 miles southwest of Columbia City, 8 miles north of Ft. White, and 3 � miles northeast of Ichetucknee Springs.

The site is approximately 655 acres, and is composed of roughly 246 acres of pine plantation, 214 acres of spoil and mining road, 78 acres of mine areas/gravel pits, 83 acres-mixed hardwoods, and 34 acres of cutover

News Release:
November 26, 2007


TALLAHASSEE - The Department of Health (DOH) announced today that eating largemouth bass from ponds located on the former Kirby Mine site in rural Columbia County poses a �public health hazard.�  The finding was determined after review of sampling data by a DOH health assessment program funded by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).  The hazard is due to the levels of mercury found in the bass during recent testing.  The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) tested largemouth bass caught in the ponds and requested that DOH review the data to see if the fish were safe for people to eat.  DOH reviewed the data and found increased levels of mercury in the fish samples. 

Women of childbearing age and young children are especially sensitive to mercury and should only eat one six-ounce meal per month of cooked largemouth bass from the ponds.  Anyone else eating largemouth bass from the ponds should limit consumption to one meal per week.

Eating fish is an important part of a healthy diet.  Rich in vitamins and low in fat, fish contains protein for strong bodies.  It is also an excellent source of nutrition for proper growth and development.  In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that most people should generally eat two meals of fish or seafood every week.

Levels of mercury found in fish vary depending on the age and type of fish, as well as the condition of the fish�s environment.  To lower the risk of harm from mercury found in fish caught in Florida, see guidelines based on tests of various water bodies: www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/fishconsumptionadvisories/index.html.

DOH promotes, protects and improves the health of all people in Florida.  A report on the fish from the Kirby Mine ponds is available at www.myfloridaeh.com/community/SUPERFUND/pdf/2007/FinalKirbyMineHC82207.pdf  To learn more about DOH programs, visit www.doh.state.fl.us.


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Last updated: April 06, 2015

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