Alexander, McConnell, Corker, Paul Introduce Legislation To Stop Fishing Restrictions

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.), along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senators Bob Corker (R-Tn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), on Thursday introduced legislation that would stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from restricting fishing in the tailwaters below the Cumberland River dams.

Sen. Alexander’s legislation would prevent the Corps from enacting its plan, rather than simply delay it, as previously intended, because of the Corps’ continued commitment to move forward.

In addition to introducing the legislation, Sen. Alexander spoke by phone on Thursday with Secretary of the Army John McHugh, and announced that he will meet Monday with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy to discuss the Corps’ planned restrictions.

Sen. Alexander said the Corps is pushing an “unreasonable plan to restrict fishing below Cumberland River dams that will destroy remarkably good recreational opportunities and many jobs.” The Corps plan would restrict public access to the fishing waters below 10 dams on the Cumberland River.

Sen. Alexander continued, “Water spills through the Cumberland River dams less than 20 percent of the time on average. To close off the tailwaters to fishing 100 percent of the time would be like keeping the gate down at the railroad crossing 100 percent of the time: The track isn't dangerous when the train isn’t coming, and the tailwaters aren’t dangerous when the water isn’t spilling through the dam.”   

The senator, who is the senior Republican on the Senate committee overseeing Corps funding, also said that he “wanted to know exactly where the $2.6 million that the Corps plans to use to erect physical barriers is coming from during these tight budget times.” Sen. Alexander said Congress may also need to consider whether the funding required for the barrier system is in the best interest of the American taxpayer.

State officials have said safety concerns can be addressed by anglers adhering to current requirements, and by making changes to policy that would be far less restrictive than the Corps’ plan. Sen. Alexander has called on the Corps to reconsider its position, in the hopes that a compromise could find a way to better address safety concerns only when the waters are dangerous.


Booker T. Washington State Park Pool Opens For The Season

The Booker T. Washington State Park pool opens for the season on Saturday. The Olympic-sized pool features a diving board and a children’s wading pool. Admission is $5/person and overnight guests swimming as a group pay half price. Seasonal passes are available for $80 for 40 visits. More information can be found here . Operating hours are as follows: · ... (click for more)

Tennessee American Water And Chambliss Center For Children Kick-Off Summer At Annual Pool Party

Tennessee American Water and Chambliss Center for Children will kick-off the summer season with a pool party next Tuesday, weather permitting, for the children participating in the summer program. Tennessee American Water filled up the more than 35,000-gallon pool at no cost to Chambliss Center for Children. “Clean and reliable water is an essential life resource. We are committed ... (click for more)

Bradley Detectives Investigating Death Of 18-Month-Old Child; Foul Play Not Suspected At This Time

Detectives in the Bradley County Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division are investigating the death of an 18-month old child that occurred Saturday evening.   Multiple phone calls into the 911 Communications Center led to patrol deputies responding to a residence on Lowery Street, N.E. Upon arrival deputies discovered a deceased child inside the residence, which ... (click for more)

Corker Says President Trump's 1st International Trip "Executed To Near Perfection"

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Sunday praised President Donald Trump for his first international trip.   He said, “I spoke with President Trump at length this morning and told him that I could not be more pleased with his first international trip. The trip was executed to near perfection and it appears the president ... (click for more)

Silence Ain’t Golden Anymore

There are times – moments – in life that you never forget. That night in 1972, sleeping over at my buddy Bart’s house, was one of them. We had been to a middle school concert and his big brother was in the band (very cool stuff for a 14-year-old!) and as we lay on the floor in our sleeping bags in Bart’s room he said he wanted to play a record that his brother listened to. And, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Prove No Improvement

The startling news that this year’s standardized testing was wasted on graduating seniors across Tennessee is most unsettling. This week it was learned the test results, which were to represent 10 percent of our seniors’ final grades, was a total bust. Coupled with last year’s gargantuan testing failure – the whole effort had to be scrapped -- it is now becoming realized that for ... (click for more)