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.”


2016-17 TWRA Winter Trout Stocking Is Underway

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced its 2016-17 winter trout stocking schedule. TWRA plans to release approximately 90,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March. The program provides numerous close to home trout fishing opportunities for anglers during the winter months. These fisheries also provide a great opportunity to introduce ... (click for more)

2017 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts Application Period Runs Dec. 14-Jan. 18

The application period for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency 2017 Spring Turkey Quota Hunts runs from Dec. 14 through Jan. 18, 2017. Applications are available and will be accepted at any TWRA license agent, TWRA regional office, or online at the TWRA website. Applications can be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (CST) on Jan. 18. Mailed applications will not be accepted. ... (click for more)

City Administrator Lurone Jennings Suspended For Misallocation Of Funds

Rev. Lurone Jennings, administrator of City Youth and Family Development, has been suspended for one week for misallocation of funds. He also is to be issued a letter of reprimand and will undergo ethics training. The action came after a critical audit report from City Auditor Stan Sewell. It says Mr. Jennings transferred $18,500 of funds to a program, Journey Educational ... (click for more)

New Walker County Commissioner Whitfield To Move Public Meetings To Evenings And To Larger Venue; Will Also Be Listening Sessions

Walker County Sole Commissioner-Elect Shannon Whitfield said there will be a new arrangement for holding of public commissioner sessions when he takes place at the start of January. Current Commissioner Bebe Heiskell has held Thursday meetings at 3:30 p.m. from time to time in a conference room at her office near the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette. Mr. Whitfield said those ... (click for more)

Roy Couldn't Possibly Be More Wrong - And Response (4)

Spreading false information isn't only harmful, as we've been made aware recently. The spread of false information can be outright dangerous.   Calling himself a Christian and all, Roy truly disappoints on so many levels with his recently opinion piece about black students attending predominately white schools being the cause of so much problems and grief at those schools. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Senseless Divide

If I could change one thing about the schools in Chattanooga, my wish would be that everybody could become good friends. I’m talking about the private schools versus the public schools. The rancor is so bad we hardly ever play in sports anymore and what the loathsome TSSAA has done in recent years to the out-numbered private schools is sinful. My dream would be that there would ... (click for more)