Tennesseans Hand-Deliver Over 2,600 Postcards To D.C. In Support Of Tennessee Wilderness Act

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Over 200 people traveled to D.C. last week from across the country – including three people with Tennessee Wild – to celebrate Great Outdoors America Week or GO America Week from June 24-27.  

In the heart of Great Outdoors Month, GO America Week brought together outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life – high school students and adults, active members of the military and veterans, conservationists and business leaders, hunters and anglers, bikers and boaters –to celebrate America’s great outdoors, and ask their elected officials to protect our natural heritage. 

Tennessee Wild has been advocating for reintroduction and passage of the Tennessee Wilderness Act, a bill to permanently safeguard nearly 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest. The measure, first introduced in 2011, would add land to five existing wilderness areas and create the new Upper Bald River Wilderness, all of which were recommended.

“Protecting the forest is important for surrounding businesses and communities,” said Tennessee Wild’s Jeff Hunter. “Wilderness designations promote the growth of a wide variety of recreational activities including hiking, paddling, hunting, fishing and camping.”

Communities across the country, including Chattanooga, are sustained by their natural surroundings.  In Tennessee, outdoor recreation alone generates $8.2 billion in consumer spending and supports 83,000 jobs. Nation-wide, outdoor recreation generates $646 billion in consumer spending and responsible for 6.1 million jobs.

The bill has for years garnered enthusiastic bipartisan supporters from all around the state, including scores of businesses, organizations and community leaders. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages Cherokee National Forest and must balance the various uses of the land within its boundaries, has endorsed it. Representatives from Tennessee Wild hand delivered more than 2,600 hand-written postcards in support of the Tennessee Wilderness Act to Capitol Hill last week. The cards weighed more than 24 pounds.

Great Outdoors America Week arrived at a time when a push to preserve America’s most treasured wild places is vitally important. Last Congress was the first Congress since World War II to not protect a single new acre of public land as a national park, monument or wilderness area. Advocates are hopeful that the tide is turning for conservation this Congress as more and more diverse communities join together to protect America’s great outdoors.



Genetic Testing Verifies New State And Potential World Record Black Crappie

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received results from a genetic analysis and is verifying a new state record black crappie caught by an angler from Philadelphia, Tn.  Application for world record status will have to be submitted by the angler to the International Game Fish Association.   It’s been a long four-and-a-half weeks since Lionel “Jam” Ferguson ... (click for more)

L2 Outside To Host 3rd Annual Post-Riverbend River Clean Up

L2 Outside will host the third annual Post-Riverbend River Clean Up on Saturday, from 7-9 a.m.   Volunteers will launch in groups from the public launch site underneath Market Street  Bridge in Coolidge Park. L2 Outside is dedicated to helping to provide clean waterways, and will be donating 25 stand up paddle boards and 10 kayaks to assist volunteers in the ... (click for more)

Former City Education Commissioner John P. Franklin Dies

John Porter Franklin, long a leading figure in Chattanooga city government, has died.  He was the city's first, elected black official, post Jim Crow laws, in 1971. Mr. Franklin's father, G.W. Franklin, was a pioneer funeral home director and John Franklin continued in that line. He was first an official in Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home, then he started John P. Franklin ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Not A Blessed One

When I read, to no great surprise, that 132 of Chattanooga’s “leaders” had signed a letter in support of “socioeconomic integration” in Thursday’s Times Free Press, there were two things that were immediately obvious to me: Not a blessed one would have (a) written such a letter on their personal stationery, and (b) not a blessed one would have ever voted for the current president ... (click for more)