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Wilderness Protection Effort in Tennessee

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Volunteer Caara Fritz, Director Jeff Hunter
Tennessee Wilderness Campaign

More wilderness areas and more protections for clean water are the hopes of Tennesseans urging their US Congress members to act.  The Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2011 would add nearly 20,000 acres of wilderness in Cherokee National Forest.

Tennessee Wilderness Campaign Director Jeff Hunter says those areas that include headwaters of tributaries of the Tennessee River are “vitally important to protect.” For instance, some of the federal land includes the Bald River which is popular for fly fishing and flows  into the Tellico River, which empties into the Tennessee.  The Tennessee River is a drinking water source for Chattanooga residents downstream.

The Wilderness Act includes lands that are already federally owned, expanding protections for water and wildlife.  Those areas could no longer be logged or driven by everyday motor vehicle traffic. Wilderness areas can be used for recreation such as hiking, fishing and camping.

Tennessee Wild is a coalition of hiking clubs, conservation groups and others.  If you’d like to learn more about protecting wilderness in Tennessee and how you can help, read more at tnwild.org.

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