Efforts to Preserve More Tennessee Wilderness & Water

Does it make sense to you that we preserve more of the nation's natural beauty?  You're in good company.  A diverse group of folks support efforts to protect public lands as wilderness, meaning they remain untouched from road building, intense logging, mining or even hydraulic fracturing.

The Tennessee Wilderness Act would protect nearly 20,000 acres of Cherokee National Forest from future development.  The measure, introduced in 2010 by Senator Lamar Alexander, has gotten bogged down in Congress, despite broad support.  Hikers, conservationists and related groups all want to see five existing wilderness areas expanded under the plan.  Bill Hodge of Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards is confident, "our bill has bipartisan support."  Supporters even boast that the wilderness designation carries no additional expense to taxpayers.

Jeff Hunter of Tennessee Wild calls the Upper Bald River Wilderness area the "gem" in the wilderness plan.  An avid outdoorsman, Hunter serves as ambassador to those who want to discover hiking, fishing and more in designated wilderness areas.  He acknowledges that preserving the land also helps preserve clean water.  "Every acre of the nearly 20,000 acres that we'll protect drains eventually into the Tennessee River."

The Tennessee Wilderness Act is one of dozens around the country that would help put more public lands into protected status.  If you want to have your say about preserving the landscape and its resources for future generations, you can take action now through the Tennessee Wild website.  You can ask Senator Alexander and other Congressional leaders to reintroduce the bill and get it passed into law.

Learn more about an upcoming fly fishing clinic March 23 that supports Tennessee Wild, as well as other outings that promote an appreciation for the outdoors.

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