The new Sassafras Mountain Estates website will provide much of the information that was in (community contact numbers and URLs, minutes of recent board meetings, etc.) and new information that is regularly updated to benefit SME homeowners as well as lot owners. If you have suggestions or things you’d like to submit for publication to the website, please email any of the board members with your ideas and/or submittals.

What’s New?

  • Georgia Forestry Commission has updated rules for burning outdoors. For the latest info, go to:
  • The SMEPOA board has emailed and posted (below) a reminder to property owners who are building homes, as well as those with established homes, to maintain their property to protect the property values of all owners here on the mountain. See below.
  • The SME shop on has been updated with new designs and items. Go down this page to the section on our shop and click on the “Check it out” link to see what’s new. Don’t forget that a portion of the sales comes back to SMEPOA to help fund work on our roads.
  • The minutes from the November board meeting are now posted on the minutes page.

SMEPOA Board of Directors

Jeff Kirves, President, e-mail: 

Bonnie Lovejoy, Secretary, e-mail:

Joyce Leath, Treasurer, email:

Kelly Watson, Vice President, email:

Trina Britt, email:

Libby Glosson, email:

Mark Stubbs, email:

The Sassafras Mountain Estates Property Owners Association, SMEPOA, was formed to represent the collective interests of property owners.

Mission Statement

1. Represent the combined interests of property owners on issues of mutual concern that may have an effect on the fundamental character of Sassafras Mountain Estates.

2. Protect property values within the community by encouraging cooperation among property owners regarding issues pertaining to covenants, and private and common property maintenance. To provide a collective voice on issues regarding local governmental activities that would influence the quality of life and the value of properties within our community.

3. Promote the quality of life that brought property owners to Sassafras Mountain Estates by supporting the preservation of the natural resources of our community.

4. Assist property owners by working with local Fire and Law Enforcement agencies to help provide adequate and timely services.

SMEPOA does not make personal data about property owners available to the public for any reason

Click on the covenants link below to see the SME Covenants overview that summarizes the responsibilities and restrictions for property owners:


Board Meeting Minutes

Click on the link below to see the most recent meeting minutes from the SMEPOA board meeting.


Area Information

Pickens County

Sheriff – (706) 253-8900

Government site:

Dawson County

Sheriff – (706) 344-3535

Government site:

Community Resources

Fire prevention:

Looking for someone to perform some service for your home or property? Click on the mountain services link below to see the contact information for companies that have done good work for your neighbors.

Mountain Services

From the SMEPOA board

The board is interested in your input. If you do have an issue that you would like answered, a question or comment(s), please email a concise paragraph highlighting your concerns and it will be discussed, as long as it is respectful. Then, if the board thinks it is of interest to the community, we will send our responses via email to everyone for whom we have an email. 

A concern that was brought to our attention is there needs to be more communication during the year. You are more than welcome to ask a question or express a concern anytime. You may ask a board member, the board members‘ email addresses are found on the website (above), or send an email to and we will respond in a timely manner.

Thank you.

Reminder to SME Property Owners

Dear Sassafras Mountain Estates Property Owner

You probably noticed the recent increase in construction work on the mountain. However, with the prospect of new and existing owners greeting new neighbors comes the responsibility for those building on the mountain lots to maintain the work site, especially where the driveway intersects the road. Gravel that spills into the road and left there will invariably get run over by cars and trucks, i.e., the usual traffic. This can and does erode the road surfaces and leads directly to a further breakdown of the pavement. The SMEPOA board is asking owners who are  building homes here to be aware of the conditions on their lots, and to take steps to keep the areas clear of trash, especially in cases in which such trash can be seen from the road. These steps include not placing building materials and portable toilets on the road right-of-way; these are not only unsightly but also block the mowing that we perform regularly to keep the shoulders trimmed. And, again, please make sure that gravel is not spread out from the worksite onto the road.

In fact, we should remind all property owners to comply with the SME requirement to maintain their lots, even those with established homes. Is your gravel driveway spreading into the road? Do you have items in your yard that have been there for several days, weeks…months? Do you have vehicles sitting on your lot that aren’t used? Please consider your neighbors, who want to maintain the property values of their homes, by making sure that your property has a neat appearance.

You can review the maintenance requirements in the covenants by reviewing your copy of the covenants pertaining to your lot, or you can see the requirements at by clicking on the “Covenants” link (above).

As always, thank you for your support.

The SMEPOA Board of Directors

The life you endanger by feeding wildlife might be your own

There are even more reasons this season not to feed the bears. An April morning brought a slow moving, small, emaciated female black bear to Cold Stream Trail. A bright sun exposed her balding backside, patched with some sparse, discolored reddish fur. Spring brings the natural movement of animals through migration and heightened foraging, along with the increased activity related to reproductive cycles.

     We’ve all been taught that a fed bear is a dead bear. However, there may be more at stake than the bear’s health when clear boundaries are not respected. Your health and your pet’s wellbeing could be jeopardized through transmission of disease.

     According to the Ga. Department of Natural Resources, the small bear spotted likely was suffering from a type of mange as well as malnutrition. As spring continues, food sources should improve and animals traditionally fatten up.

     The audycoptic mange, caused by the Ursicoptes americanus mite, is bear specific but similar to sarcoptic. The sarcoptic mange, highly transmissable, is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite and is the most common source of mange. The rise in cases of bear mange is alarming DNR biologists, and is occurring mainly in the mid-Atlantic states. The demodectic mange passed by Demodex mites is found in wildlife, but more commonly in canines.   

      “At this time we are not specifically asking people to report any suspected mange in bear,” according to DNR wildlife technician Jim Johnson, out of the Gainesville office.

    “The most important thing we can do is to remove human food and trash from wildlife. Pet food is especially tempting to wildlife and dangerous for your pet. Feeding deer too,” Johnson cautioned. 

     If you throw organic waste into a compost heap instead of storing it in household trash, use lime to assist in decomposition. Removing bird feeders is also advised during the spring.

     These diseases not only can be transmitted to other wildlife and domestic animals, but humans are susceptible to many pathogens common when too-close contact is happening. Although these diseases are usually caused by parasites such as mites and the larvae they lay, another serious disease is hitting deer herds along with other animals: chronic wasting disease. Scientists are trying to determine how vulnerable humans are to this very serious disease and have issued heavy warnings. 

     With the increase of trail cams and cell phone cameras, sightings are on the rise. If it were possible to administer, wildlife vets say a couple of doses of the anti-parasite drug Ivermectin would be quite effective. The problem with tranquilizing and treating bears includes the possibility of the animals becoming too accustomed to human presence.

     An additional signal of a mange outbreak in an animal is the awful odor. But if you smell it on a bear, then you are probably too close for your own good.

Sassafras Mountain Estates Shop

Don’t forget that we now have a dedicated Sassafras Mountain Estates shop for buying T shirts (both long and short sleeve), sweatshirts and hoodies, and accessories. Check it out

Here are some sample items that are some of the many things that can be purchased on the website. There are three logos that can be selected on the items: the leaf logo, the SME mountain logo with red lettering, and the SME mountain logo with black lettering. The premium choice for men’s T shirts is a little higher quality, but the regular choice works fine for casual wear. Each clothing item is offered in various colors, shown in the bubbles below the item.

Women’s items are shown below.

Accessories are also included, and include coffee cups, aprons, tote bags, dog bandanas. You can check them all out online at the shop. Finally, you can customize any item offered on the site, including some accessories that are not already printed with one of the logos, under the “Customize” tab. Just use the “Product”, “Design”, or “Text” tab in Customize to make the item uniquely yours. See the examples below. Finally, if the item doesn’t fit or doesn’t meet your expectations, just follow the instructions for the “Return Policy” on the site.

SMEPOA Contribution

Property owners of Sassafras Mountain Estates, via the Sassafras Mountain Estates Property Owners Association, or SMEPOA, support the upkeep of our private roads by making an annual contribution, due by July 1st of each year for the 7/1 to 6/30 fiscal year. The current donation for each lot with a house is $600 and $300 for lots without houses, all of which goes almost exclusively to paving and patching the roads, mowing and maintaining the road shoulders, and painting lines and installing reflectors on the roads. There is no county road maintenance because the roads are private. Therefore, it’s essential that property owners provide the funding to keep the roads up. Please make your contribution now if you haven’t done so already.

If you prefer to pay by check, please make the check payable to SMEPOA, and mail it to PO Box 1611, Jasper, GA 30143. You can also pay by credit card or through PayPal by clicking on the “Donate” link below. You can also set up automatic payment through your bank or credit union by going to the Bill Pay/Payment Center and entering SMEPOA in the business line, and use PO Box 1611, Jasper, GA 30143 as the address.  If a telephone number is required, enter your telephone number in case the financial institution has questions or problems with your payment. Finally, select the monthly amount you wish to pay ($50 for lots with houses, $25 for lots only) and the day of the month you want the payment to be made. Thanks.

NOTE: After you click the contribution link, you must enter the amount of your donation before choosing “Pay with PayPal” or “Pay with a Card”.

If you’re a Facebook user, you may want to see what your SME Facebook neighbors are saying. Go to Facebook here