U.S. Senator Bob Corker praised committee passage of the Tennessee Wilderness Act (S. 1294), which was reported out of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Tuesday. The Tennessee Wilderness Act, introduced by Senator Corker and Senator Lamar Alexander last July, would designate nearly 20,000 acres in six areas of the Cherokee National Forest as wilderness.
“Tennesseans take great pride in the fact that millions of people visit our state every year to experience our incredible God-given outdoors, and this legislation would ensure the Cherokee National Forest is preserved for future generations,” Senator Corker said. “I thank Senator Alexander for his lifelong commitment to protecting wilderness areas, and I’m hopeful the full Senate will consider and pass this legislation in the near future.”
The legislation would create one new wilderness area, and expand the boundaries of five existing wilderness areas, within the Cherokee National Forest. The new wilderness area would be the Upper Bald River Wilderness, which is more than 9,000 acres in Monroe County.
Creating and expanding these wilderness areas would have no effect on privately owned land. The legislation would preserve access to federally owned land that has already been made part of existing Wilderness Study Areas by the U.S. Forest Service.
The Tennessee Wilderness Act:
· Creates the 9,038-acre Upper Bald River Wilderness (Monroe County)
· Adds 348 acres to Big Frog Wilderness (Polk County)
· Adds 966 acres to Little Frog Wilderness (Polk County)
· Adds 2,922 acres to Sampson Mountain Wilderness (Washington and Unicoi County)
· Adds 4,446 acres to Big Laurel Branch Wilderness (Carter and Johnson County)
· Adds 1,836 acres to Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness (Monroe County)