Cumberland Trail Renamed For Sundquist Aide Justin Wilson

Monday, September 23, 2002

CROSSVILLE – Gov. Don Sundquist on Monday formally dedicated the Cumberland Trail, Tennessee’s 53rd state park and its only linear park, in a ceremony on Black Mountain in Cumberland County. Named by Sundquist as a state park in 1998, 40 percent of the 283-mile trail is now open to hikers.

“The Cumberland Trail has been the dream of Tennessee hikers and nature enthusiasts for over 30 years,” Sundquist said. “Today, thanks to the hard work of volunteers and public and private partners, that dream is now a reality.”

The ceremony was the culmination of the “Tennessee Walk,” a monthlong celebration of the Cumberland Trail led by Deputy to the Governor for Policy Justin P. Wilson. Wilson was joined by Sundquist and First Lady Martha Sundquist, volunteers, hikers, park rangers, local officials, scout groups and others while hiking over 100 miles of the trail in September.

“Justin Wilson has been an extremely effective and dedicated public servant in my administration, and has led state environmental policy for the past seven years” Sundquist said. “Today, I recognize his service to the people of Tennessee by formally renaming this park the Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park.”

“I am deeply humbled by Governor Sundquist’s recognition,” Wilson said. “Governor Sundquist saw Cumberland Trail as a once-in-history opportunity to link natural areas, provide a scenic corridor for hikers, habitat for wildlife, and an economic and tourism engine for rural communities. We all owe him our thanks for supporting volunteers and creating this magnificent state park.”

Wilson served as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation before becoming Deputy to the Governor for Policy in 1997. In that role, Wilson served as Sundquist’s chief policy advisor on a variety of issues. Wilson has attracted greatest notice through his leadership on environmental issues, where he created a broad-based workgroup to develop sound, science-based environmental policy.

Wilson secured a historic cleanup agreement and dedicated funds from the U.S. Department of Energy to clean up the legacy of the Cold War at Oak Ridge, and secured significant reductions of emissions of air pollutants from the Tennessee Valley Authority. He negotiated the donation of 13,000 acres and a $9 million trust fund for local water projects from TVA, and led numerous other efforts to secure donations of land to the state valued at $45 million. Wilson led negotiations to clean up the long-polluted Pigeon River and protected Fall Creek Falls State Park from surface mining He was named the Tennessee Conservation League’s “Conservationist of the Year” in 1997.

When complete, Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park will stretch 283 miles across Tennessee, cutting through 11 counties from the Georgia-Alabama border to the Virginia-Kentucky border. The park is expected to be completed by 2008.

Sundquist thanked the following organizations for donating land, funding and volunteer labor to the creation and maintenance of the Cumberland Trail: Chattanooga Hiking Club, The Conservation Fund, Cumberland Trail Conference, Governor's Council on Greenways and Trails, Sierra Club, Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, Tennessee Conservation Commission, Tennessee Conservation League, Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, Tennessee Trails Association and Cumberland Trail Volunteers.



Bryan College Freshman Qualifies For The 2018 Bassmaster Classic

All season long, as teammates on Bryan College’s bass fishing team, Jacob Foutz and Jake Lee worked well together. The college freshmen finished ninth in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops at Cherokee Lake, Tennessee.   Last week they really clicked, claiming the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented ... (click for more)

Free Public Education Class "Butterflies In Your Garden" Offered On Saturday

The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County (MGHC), in association with the University of Tennessee Extension, will extend their outreach with a free class on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. The topic will be “Butterflies in Your Garden” presented by master gardener Beth Rice. MGHC classes take place at the UT Extension, Agricultural Service Center, 6183 Adamson Circle, located ... (click for more)

Crowds Gather For Eclipse Watch Featuring Chattanooga And Points North

Crowds began gathering Monday morning for the great solar eclipse watch that has Chattanooga and points just to the north as prime territory. Northbound traffic on I-75 near Ooltewah was reported at a standstill for those wanting to get to locations with 100 percent darkness. Chattanooga was projected to be in the 99 percent range, and large viewing parties were planned at ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport President Gets New Contract Amid Double-Digit Growth, Improvements

Chattanooga Airport President Terry Hart has been given a six-year extension on his contract amid double-digit passenger increases and a host of airport improvements. There is no increase in his $158,377 pay, but the board plans to put in annual performance reviews with some built-in bonuses. Jim Hall, vice chairman of the Airport Board, said it is also important that the ... (click for more)

Tom Decosimo: My Great-Great-Grandparents Are Buried At The Confederate Cemetery - And Response

To Mayor Berke, I cannot add any more to the very fine comments made in opposition to your empty jester to remove the city as a trustee of the Confederate Cemetery. I can, however, add some personal perspective as my great-great-grandparents are buried there. Penelope McDermott Cooke was a Daughter of the Confederacy and was concerned the remains of the Confederates who ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The New Mean

Until last Monday I believed nobody could ever hurt my feelings again. In the half-century I have been a writer I’ve had hundreds of people take swipes at me, been called more names, and received more hate mail than you can imagine. I also know the only way anyone can hurt you is for you to allow it and, brother, it is nigh impossible to get inside me. My defense mechanism is because ... (click for more)