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.


Outdoor Chattanooga Offers Free Make Your Own Outdoor Video Workshops In February

As a part of its annual Winter Workshop series, Outdoor Chattanooga will offer three classes on how to make an outdoor video on Thursdays,  Feb. 5 , 12, and 19, at  6:30 p.m.  at Outdoor Chattanooga’s facility, 200 River St. in Coolidge Park. The free workshops, formatted specifically for beginner film makers, will provide information and resources for amateurs ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Winter Workshop:  Jan. 29  - Fire by Friction Learn about tools and techniques for starting a fire with a bowdrill, or flint and steel at our next free  Winter Workshop , happening this  Thurs., Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m.  at Outdoor ... (click for more)

Chance Loftis Set To Be Freed From Jail After Jury Finds Him Guilty Of Only Misdemeanor Charge

Chance Loftis is set to be freed from jail on Monday after a Criminal Court jury on Friday afternoon found him guilty of only a minor charge. Instead of murder in the death of 46-year-old Donald Rogers, the jury in the courtroom of Judge Don Poole found him guilty of the lesser charge of reckless endangerment. He was found not guilty of aggravated animal cruelty in the beating ... (click for more)

1 Dies In House Fire In Rhea County

Rhea County Fire Department officials said one person died in an early-morning house fire on Saturday. The call came at about 6:30 a.m. The brick residence is on Fisher Road. S tate arson investigators were on their way. (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)