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.


Water Fowl Seasons To Be Set, Presentation Of Fishing Proposals On TFWC August Agenda

The 2014-15 state waterfowl hunting seasons and a preview of next year’s sport and commercial fishing proclamations will be among the agenda items for the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission at its August meeting. The meeting will be held Aug. 28-29 (Thursday-Friday) at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials ... (click for more)

Hike Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Most Improved Trail: Forney Ridge

Soak up vistas from the highest peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome, on the September Classic Hike of the Smokies. Hikers will also enjoy the fruits of the Smokies Trails Forever program as they walk above the clouds along the reconstructed Forney Ridge Trail.  Hiking guide and author Danny Bernstein will lead this Friends of the Smokies hike on Tuesday, ... (click for more)

Jordan Williams Named Manager At Bradley SPCA; President Says Group Taking And Placing Animals

Jordan Williams has been named manager for shelter operations at the Bradley County SPCA following the firing of former director Bobby Anderson at a tumultuous meeting on Monday night. Betti Gravelle, president, said, "Jordan has been with the organization since shortly after its inception and is fully prepared to assume leadership in the daily operation of the shelter as well ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Westview Elementary Rampage Under Treatment At Moccasin Bend

The 22-year-old charged with a rampage through Westview Elementary School is under treatment at Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital, officials said. Aaron Roden had been set for his first court appearance on Thursday morning. Attorney Allen Dunn of the public defender's office said the hearing needed to be delayed. A status court appearance will be Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Sheriff ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House? - And Response

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Coaches Vs. ‘Top 25’ Foes

The long-accepted measuring stick for a college football coach has been his win-loss record, with an after-glance at his win-loss record within his conference. But in Wednesday’s editions of the Wall Street Journal, writer David Everson, with the help of Stats LLC, used a much-tougher litmus test when he revealed the records of 65 major-college coaches against opponents that were ... (click for more)