Bowater Donating 3,700 Acres To State

Helps Preserve 50 Miles Of Cumberland Trail System

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced Bowater Incorporated will dedicate more than 3,700 acres of pristine woodlands to the State of Tennessee’s Cumberland Trail State Park.

The gift marks the 50th anniversary of Bowater’s Calhoun, Tenn., operations and includes a donation of 610 acres on the Cumberland Plateau, as well as permanent conservation protections on 3,122 acres in the company’s Pocket Wilderness system.

Bredesen and Bowater Incorporated Chairman and CEO Arnie Nemirow presented details of the company’s Land Preservation Initiative at a news conference at the State Capitol today.

“I’d like to thank Arnie Nemirow and Bowater for this generous donation,” Bredesen said. “These lands will be combined with the state’s recent purchase of 4,500 acres in northern Hamilton County to permanently protect nearly 50 miles of scenic woodlands on the Cumberland Trail. Increasing the number of acres of forest land under state protection is an important part of our state’s conservation strategy and I thank you for your commitment to this effort.”

Bredesen noted that the company’s donation of 610 acres will connect segments of the park’s Rock Creek, Possum Creek, and Soddy Creek Trails. In addition, conservation easements will be made in the North Chickamauga, Piney River and Stinging Fork Pocket Wilderness Areas, and the Upper Piney River Gorge in the Cumberland Trail system.

Bowater’s Pocket Wilderness Areas are located throughout Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau and are characterized by their unique historical, ecologic and geologic significance.

“These pristine forests of the Cumberland Plateau are truly magnificent, and Bowater is pleased to celebrate its 50th anniversary of operations in Tennessee by permanently protecting these areas for enjoyment by its citizens,” said Mr. Nemirow.

In addition to permanent land protections, Mr. Nemirow also announced the company’s plan to work with the State of Tennessee over the next year to study Bowater’s Cumberland Plateau lands that may be appropriate for additional protection. The study will cover lands that are adjacent to Tennessee state parks and trails, as well as gulfs and coves.

Today’s donation from Bowater Incorporated adds to the Bredesen administration’s conservation initiatives for 2004. In Bredesen’s balanced budget that passed the General Assembly in June, he restored nearly all of the land acquisition funds, totaling nearly $17 million annually. In addition, he allocated nearly $3 million for the acquisition of 8,000 acres of forests in the Cumberland Range known as the Bedsole Tract. This property is widely regarded as one of the most important biological systems in the country, officials said.

The state is also currently working with the Friends of South Cumberland State Recreation Area and the The Conservation Fund to add nearly 7,000 acres from the Fiery Gizzard Trail to the South Cumberland Recreation Area using resources from the Land Acquisition Fund. These lands will be used for recreation, biodiversity and for the economic benefit of the local communities, it was stated.

This month marks the month-long 50th Anniversary celebration of Bowater’s Calhoun newsprint operations. The mill, dedicated in 1954 by Sir Eric Bowater, was the fulfillment of his dream to locate “the perfect mill in the perfect setting in the heart of this great warmhearted United States.” The mill is now one of the world’s leading producers of newsprint and is the area’s largest employer.

Bowater Incorporated is headquartered in Greenville, S.C., and operates 12 pulp and paper mills in the United States, Canada and South Korea. In addition to the manufacture of newsprint, Bowater also produces coated and uncoated groundwood papers, bleach kraft pulp and lumber products. The company’s Calhoun facility employs over 900 people from Bradley and McMinn Counties and surrounding areas.


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