Chattanooga Softball Gets Alabama Regional With Alabama, Stanford, Murray State

Local Coalition Applauds Tennessee Wilderness Act Hearing In U.S. Senate Committee

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Tennessee Wild Coalition on Thursday applauded the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry’s hearing on the Tennessee Wilderness Act (S. 755).  The legislation was introduced by Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and is supported by a diverse coalition of hunters, anglers, business owners, faith leaders, outdoor recreationists, and conservationists.

The bill now awaits a Senate markup and introduction in the House of Representatives. 

 

The hearing comes at a critical time, as wilderness legislation is starting to move in Congress. With the Republicans in the majority in the House and Senate, the Tennessee Wild Coalition is hopeful that the bill will gain traction. Given that this is the fourth time the senators have introduced the Tennessee Wilderness Act with overwhelming local support, the coalition is urging Congress act.

 

"For those with a forward-thinking faith-based perspective, being a good steward of Cherokee National Forest means taking care of God’s creation for future generations,” said Jeff Wadley, a pastor in Maryville. "For many, wilderness is seen as a place where people draw close to God. I hope Congress follows our Senators' leads and passes the Tennessee Wilderness Act this year.”

 

The legislation would safeguard nearly 20,000 acres of public land in the Cherokee National Forest. It would expand the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock, Big Frog, Little Frog, Big Laurel Branch, and Sampson Mountain wilderness areas, and create the new 9,000-acre Upper Bald River Wilderness Area. 

 

Support for the Tennessee Wilderness is broad and deep. A survey by Ayres, McHenry & Associates, Inc.found that 74 percent of East Tennesseans support the bill. The support cut across party lines, with 70 percent of Republican, 76 percent of Independent, and 82 percent of Democratic voters supporting the proposal. 

 

“Hunting and fishing is part of who we are here in Tennessee and it is important to preserve that heritage,” said John Champion, a life-long fisherman who lives in Cleveland.  “Passing the Tennessee Wilderness Act would ensure that the forest stays the same the future generations to enjoy. Thank you, Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker for protecting our way of life. Now it is time for Congress to act.” 

The proposal, situated within the Cherokee National Forest, is an outdoor recreation haven boasting 4.5 miles of the Appalachian Trail, nearly 15 miles of the Benton MacKaye Trail, cold-water streams, and incredible wildlife.  With the passage of the Tennessee Wilderness Act, access to the lands would not change, and land would remain open to hunting, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, camping, paddling, and other forms of recreation already allowed in the proposal areas. 

Outdoor recreation is a critical part of Tennessee’s economy. The passage of the bill would only enhance the outdoor recreation economy, as it would show businesses that preservation is a sound investment. According to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2013 economic report, the outdoor recreation industry generates $8.2 billion in consumer spending in Tennessee annually and creates 83,000 in direct jobs in the state. 

“My business depends on preserving our big backyard,” said Dawson Wheeler, co-owner of Rock/Creek Outfitters in Chattanooga and Benton. “I want to thank Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker for their steadfast leadership on the Tennessee Wilderness Act.  It is now time for the House to follow their lead and Congress to pass this bill.” 


Love, Erin Donates Barn Owl To Reflection Riding

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Conducts 5-Year Status Reviews Of 35 Southeastern Species

Skull Island Campground Reopens After Complete Renovation


Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center will welcome the organization donating a baby Barn Owl to the nature center this Saturday, at 1 p.m. The owl is being donated by Love, Erin, based ... (click for more)

As part of the process mandated by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct five-year status reviews of 35 endangered or threatened fish, wildlife, and ... (click for more)

Vista Recreation (formerly RRM) in a partnership agreement with TVA, announces the reopening of Skull Island Campground after years of closure due to deferred maintenance issues. Skull Island ... (click for more)



Outdoors

Love, Erin Donates Barn Owl To Reflection Riding

Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center will welcome the organization donating a baby Barn Owl to the nature center this Saturday, at 1 p.m. The owl is being donated by Love, Erin, based in Asheville, N.C. The baby barn owl, whose name will be unveiled on Saturday, will be present on Saturday for a limited time for pictures. “We were in the process of acquiring a barn ... (click for more)

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Conducts 5-Year Status Reviews Of 35 Southeastern Species

As part of the process mandated by the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will conduct five-year status reviews of 35 endangered or threatened fish, wildlife, and plants. These species are found primarily in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but are also known to occur in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Woman Gets 6-Year Suspended Sentence In 2018 Stabbing Death Of George Deramus

A woman charged in the stabbing death of 60-year-old George Deramus pleaded guilty on Monday morning to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Tavowia Hinton, who was 49 at the time of the Dec. 2, 2018, incident, had been facing a charge of second-degree murder. She was given a six-year prison sentence, but it was suspended. Ms. Hinton was directed not to have any contact ... (click for more)

Florida Man Says Deal Should Go Through To Buy 6,161 Acres In Hamilton, Sequatchie Counties From Pattens

A Florida man has filed suit in Federal Court, saying he had a deal to buy 6,160 acres in Hamilton and Sequatchie counties from Bryan and Cartter Patten, but they are backing out of the deal. C. Lee Eggert, of Brandon, Fla., said the agreed purchase price was over $11.6 million. He acknowledged that he was being furnished the money by a logging company, Consolidated Timberlands. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Election Integrity

I find the complaints about the recent win by Weston Wamp in the Hamilton County mayor’s primary to be interesting and amusing. Interesting because of the attempt by some to portray his win as the result of some kind of nefarious manipulation by a group of clergy to get Black voters to crossover and vote for Wamp. Also interesting because for weeks it was assumed by the local political ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: "Miss Mary Frances"

I have written dozens of obituaries in my life and eulogized many people. I am not ashamed to admit I think I am good at it and I am flattered when a friend’s family approaches me to ask for my help. I have written a number of obituaries on those who are still alive who want to “proof-read” what will be turned into the funeral home and I have honored death-bed requests that this ... (click for more)