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.


Claire Henley: Adventures West (My Beautiful Ema)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon. Here is her story beginning in March). “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” –Elizabeth Barrett Browning For Ema May 1, 1926 – March 28, 2012 Three years ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Adventure Kids After School Program  Sept. 1 through Nov. 17 The  After School Adventure Kids program   is a great opportunity for kids ages 9-13 to build outdoor skills that will stay with them into adulthood. Adventurers ... (click for more)

Boy, 4, Struck By Vehicle Near Tunnel Boulevard

A four-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle near Tunnel Boulevard on Saturday afternoon. A t approximately 4:20 p.m.,  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 3400 Through St. on a c hild struck by a vehicle.  T he victim was conscious when officers arrived. He was transported to a local hospital. I nvestigators are continuing to compile ... (click for more)

Assessor Bennett, Former Assessor Ramsey In Jetton Camp For Assessor Of Property

Assessor of Property Bill Bennett and former Assessor Claude Ramsey recommended Sterling Jetton as the next assessor at a breakfast fundraiser at Wally's Restaurant in East Ridge on Saturday morning. Mr. Jetton, who spent 27 years in the assessor's office, is running against County Commissioner Marty Haynes in the March 1 Republican primary. Noting the political heavyweights ... (click for more)

DWT Is DUI

A routine narrative of a DUI arrest report goes something like this:   The defendant was operating a motor vehicle in the 00 block of sonsoroad. The driver was weaving back and forth across the marked roadway. The defendant drove through a stop sign. Was stopped at an intersection despite the traffic light was green. Entered the lane of another vehicle and caused a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Voters Think

There are over 9,000 students who attend Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., which – in an effort to be relative -- is just a touch smaller than our UT-Chattanooga. What makes Quinnipiac unique is that it is home of The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which produces what’s called the “Q Poll” because hardly anybody knows how to pronounce “Kwin-uh-pe-ack.” The Q ... (click for more)