State Acquires Conservation Easement On 3,282 Acres Of Private Land At Fiery Gizzard

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, in partnership with The Land Trust for Tennessee and The Conservation Fund, celebrated Monday the completion of a multi-year effort to conserve a significant stretch of environmentally and economically important forestland in South Cumberland.

The Division of Forestry acquired a conservation easement on 3,282 acres adjacent to South Cumberland State Park in Grundy County thanks to a grant from the federal Forest Legacy Program. The conservation easement allows for the property to remain privately owned and managed as a working forest, which significantly benefits the local economy while conserving the area’s exceptional biological diversity. The land is near a section of the nationally-ranked, 17-mile Fiery Gizzard Trail, where more than one million people visit South Cumberland State Park annually.

“The conservation easement will ensure that a valued portion of the unique tableland forests of this area remains intact in perpetuity,” said Jere Jeter, state forester and assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “The Division is proud to partner with the Land Trust for Tennessee and The Conservation Fund in keeping working forests forested and protecting the rich forest heritage of the South Cumberland Mountains.”

Ranked 10th on the 2012 national Forest Legacy priority list, the Fiery Gizzard project received a grant from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Representative Scott DesJarlais supported federal appropriations for the Forest Legacy Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund in fiscal year 2012. 

"I grew up hiking in the mountains of East Tennessee and welcome the announcement that Tennessee will be able to preserve more than 3,000 acres next to the South Cumberland State Park to ensure the same opportunities will be available in the future for Tennesseans and visitors," said Senator Alexander.

In 2008, the Land Trust for Tennessee and The Conservation Fund, with assistance from the Friends of South Cumberland State Park, preserved nearly a third of the Fiery Gizzard Trail and a large section of the trail viewshed from fragmentation and development. With the completion of this final phase, more than 5,000 acres have been added to South Cumberland State Park system, along with the protection of these 3,282 acres that will be maintained as private working forestland.

"The public-private partnership for Fiery Gizzard reflects the highest ideals for conservation of special places in Tennessee," said Jean C. Nelson, executive director of The Land Trust for Tennessee.  "We feel fortunate to be able to protect these valuable acres from incompatible land uses and provide both economic and ecological benefits to the area. We have received support from across the country on this project and are grateful for such a strong commitment from our partners."

“The support we received for this ecological and economic gem at federal level is a testament to its importance,” said Ralph Knoll, Tennessee state representative for The Conservation Fund. “This easement is a conservation solution that makes good economic sense, and we’re grateful to the Tennessee congressional delegation for continuing to support innovative land protection programs like the Forest Legacy Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will keep Fiery Gizzard protected in perpetuity.”


Fishing Report From The TWRA

Here is the fishing report from the TWRA: Chickamauga Reservoir:  Reservoir Conditions: Summer normal elevation: 682.0 feet.  Winter normal elevation: 676.0 feet. Current elevation: 682.5 feet. The water surface temperature is 83 degrees. Largemouth Bass: Good. Over 20 pounds is winning most evening tournaments. Plastic worms and crankbaits are being used along ... (click for more)

Clock Is Ticking To Apply For Georgia Deer Quota Hunts

Hunters wishing to apply for a chance at a deer quota hunt need to get online soon. An online quota application must be in before midnight Sept. 1, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.  “Georgia’s deer quota hunts provide a diversity of opportunities on some well-managed properties,” said John Bowers, chief of the Game ... (click for more)

5 Hamilton County Schools Designated As Priority Schools, 3 As Focus Schools

Five Hamilton County Schools have been designated as Priority Schools and three as Focus Schools. Priority Schools are the five percent of schools across the state with the lowest overall performance. Those from Hamilton County are Brainerd High School, Dalewood Middle School, Orchard Knob Elementary School, Orchard Knob Middle School and Woodmore Elementary School. Focus ... (click for more)

Teen Shot Twice On Wilson Street; He Won't Help Police

A teen who was shot twice on Wilson Street shortly after midnight said he would not help police. At approximately 12:08 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a call of a person shot at 1812 Wilson St. Chattanooga Police officers and EMS located Nathaniel Williams, 18, suffering from two non-life threatening gunshot wounds.  The victim was transported to Erlanger Hospital ... (click for more)

The Truth About Justice

The rallying cry in Ferguson Missouri has been "justice for Michael Brown." The question is what is justice? Justice is that the facts of the case are investigated thoroughly and regardless of the outcome of that investigation the family and friends of Michael Brown along with the citizens of Ferguson and this country need to accept the outcome no matter what it reveals.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chief Delmore: ‘You Blew It!”

Far more than 50,000 people, most police officers and law enforcement authorities, have gone to a website, “LawOfficer.com” to read a scathing letter that first appeared on Sunday. Veteran lawman Ed Delmore, who became the Police Chief in Gulf Shores, Ala., after a brilliant career as the “Top Cop” in St. Louis (which he still loves) has written what was entitled, “An Open Letter ... (click for more)