Tennessee continues to make wonderful progress in saving Cumberland Plateau land from development. An article in today’s Knoxville News Sentinel describes the largest conservation effort undertaken by the state.
The article states “As proposed by Gov. Phil Bredesen, the project would protect almost 124,000 acres of forestland valued at nearly $150 million in the Cumberland Mountains of Scott, Campbell, Anderson and Morgan counties.” The deal does not lock away land as wilderness, which would be the most desirable, but by securing timber rights, the state ensures that the clear-cutting that has marred so much of the plateau will be avoided.
Once again, the Nature Conservancy has poured money into securing Tennessee land. The non-profit organization will spend $11 million on this project, which has been named the North Cumberland Conservation Plan.
As one Big South Fork ranger put it, “This is where people who work in the Smokies come for their vacations.”