The TWRA announced that it will continue to manage the former Rocky Fork tract of the Cherokee Wildlife Management Area until the property deed is transferred to the Tennessee Department of Conservation (TDEC) later this winter.
The TWRA has in previous years leased the property from private landowners for public outdoor use and will continue to enforce current rules and regulations governing access, fishing, and hunting until TDEC receives the property deed. "TWRA is the proper entity to continue managing the property until Tennessee State Parks occupies the park," said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill. "Managing hunting and fishing activities at Rocky Fork, as TWRA has done for more than 50 years, is the best approach. In the meantime, Tennessee State Parks and TWRA will work together to determine the long-term management plan for a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities at Rocky Fork."
The property was purchased by The Conservation Fund who has over the last several years, sold approximately 8,000 acres of the area to the US Forest Service. The remaining approximate 2,000 acres will become property of TDEC State Parks Division once the land deed is transferred sometime during late January or February.
Governor Bill Haslam alongside Senator Lamar Alexander recently announced that the area will become the state’s 55th State Park. The governor’s announcement fulfills the wishes of the local Unicoi County Government to protect the area’s natural beauty while using it to support the local economy.