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from the Sparta Expositor
October 7, 1996
What's in the future for Scott's Gulf?
By ROBIN JORDAN
Will this be Scott's Gulf in the near future?
[PICTURE OF A CLEAR CUT AREA]
This is property which has been clear cut. This could possibly be what the15,000 acres of Scott's Gulf
would look like in a few years if it were allowed to be clear cut....[Photo by ROBIN JORDAN]
With the Scott's Gulf property under contract to Charles Doyle, questions have arisen as to what purpose the property will serve in the future, and upon further investigation several facts have been revealed, including the fact Doyle was charged with felony theft of timber in 1991.
According to sources, Doyle and several other partners are currently attempting to purchase the Scott's Gulf property under the business name of Mountain View Resorts. The State Attorney General's office recently explained this company is listed with them and is primarily owned by Chattanooga based attorney Jim Wilson. They also added the company was organized on January12, 1996. All attempts to reach Wilson for comment have been unsuccessful. Additional investigation showed the Michigan Leelanau County District Attorney's office charged Charles Doyle, in 1991, with "Felony Theft of Timber." Sources state Doyle purchased land on contract adjacent to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshores near Leland, Michigan. According to Michigan case records, the previous land owners sued to regain ownership of the property due to Doyle's lack of payment to them for their land. However, before the owners could regain their property, Doyle removed $24,100 (one payment of $l9,000 in March 1989 and one payment of $5,100 in September 1989 ) worth of timber from the land. Other sources said the money figure Doyle received might have been as much as $50,000.
The court case states the previous owners, who were senior citizens, lived in Florida and due to illness could not repeatedly travel between Florida and Michigan, so the case against Charles Doyle was dismissed. When asked about the property and the case, the previous Michigan land owner said Doyle had purchased approximately 425 acres from her and her husband (he has since passed away). She explained the sale price was approximately $300,000, with Doyle placing $40,000 as a down payment on the land contract. She added she and her husband sought to regain the property, because Doyle "didn't make his payments."
When questioned about the case on Friday, Charles Doyle stated he had bought the property from a 'group of people' and the federal government had made efforts to acquire the land. He added because of the efforts of the United States government, he had been unable to remove any timber from the property except for "road access and building sites. "He commented he had been driven into bankruptcy by of the actions of the government.
When contacted for comment, Bridgestone/Firestone representatives stated the company had established blanket protection prohibiting clear cutting for the l5,000 acres of Scott's Gulf, except for a small area which was where the hunting lodge was originally planned to be located. The Bridgestone/Firestone representative added there are very strict covenants in place to prohibit any timber removal near Firestone Lake and the Caney Fork River.
Bridgestone/Firestone representatives explained Doyle has met all of the required criteria to purchase Scott's Gulf with the exception of being able to raise the money to purchase the property.
[Any typos in this article are my own and not those of the Sparta Expositor or its staff. - Editor]
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