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

Wednesday, July 03, 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.


Water Fowl Seasons To Be Set, Presentation Of Fishing Proposals On TFWC August Agenda

The 2014-15 state waterfowl hunting seasons and a preview of next year’s sport and commercial fishing proclamations will be among the agenda items for the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission at its August meeting. The meeting will be held Aug. 28-29 (Thursday-Friday) at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials ... (click for more)

Hike Great Smoky Mountains National Park's Most Improved Trail: Forney Ridge

Soak up vistas from the highest peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome, on the September Classic Hike of the Smokies. Hikers will also enjoy the fruits of the Smokies Trails Forever program as they walk above the clouds along the reconstructed Forney Ridge Trail.  Hiking guide and author Danny Bernstein will lead this Friends of the Smokies hike on Tuesday, ... (click for more)

School Board Delays Decision On Big-Ticket Health Insurance Item For 1 Week

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to delay a vote on a new insurance plan for employees until next Thursday. Sandy Hughes, president of the Hamilton County Education Association, said, "I have a difficult time trying to think of what priority in spending is more important than the well-being of your employees and their children...You've not given us enough ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Westview Elementary Rampage Under Treatment At Moccasin Bend

The 22-year-old charged with a rampage through Westview Elementary School is under treatment at Moccasin Bend Psychiatric Hospital, officials said. Aaron Roden had been set for his first court appearance on Thursday morning. Attorney Allen Dunn of the public defender's office said the hearing needed to be delayed. A status court appearance will be Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Sheriff ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House? - And Response

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let’s ‘Pay It Forward’

At 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning, this at a Starbucks coffee store located at 2186 Tyrone Blvd. in St. Petersburg, Fla.,  an unidentified woman who was first in line at the drive-through window, politely told the drive-through window clerk she would like to “pay it forward.” The clerk checked the next order – it was a caramel macchiato – and the first customer paid for both her ... (click for more)