Tag Archives: Catoosa

Another Haslam Family/Tom Ingram/Lobbying Relationship Story

A company that is negotiating with the state to mine for coal under public land has more than one link to the company largely owned by Gov. Bill Haslam and members of his family, reports Josh Flory.
Hillsborough Resources Limited is negotiating with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to do mining work under Catoosa Wildlife Management Area, the 82,000-acre game-management area on the Cumberland Plateau.
The company drew scrutiny last month when it was disclosed that Tom Ingram, a consultant to Haslam, had failed to register as a lobbyist for the company. Ingram has said the failure to register was an inadvertent oversight on the part of Marcelle Durham, president of The Ingram Group.
Ingram also does consulting work for Pilot Flying J, the Knoxville-based truck stop chain that is run by the governor’s family. (And for the governor personally.)
Hillsborough also has another tie to Pilot.
Hillsborough is a subsidiary of Houston-based Vitol Inc., according to Vitol spokesman Don Goldberg. Vitol’s president is Miguel Loya, a Houston businessman
…It’s not clear if Loya still has an ownership stake in Pilot — the company has refused to fully identify its current owners — but Ingram confirmed that Loya serves on the board of Pilot.
Goldberg, the spokesman for Vitol, said there is “zero relationship” between that role and anything related to the Hillsborough proposal.

TWRA Reopens Catoosa to Public

News release from TWRA:
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that Catoosa Wildlife Management Area located in Cumberland, Morgan, and Fentress counties will be re-opened to public access effective Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011.
Catoosa WMA has been officially closed since Aug. 8, 2011 due to vandalism in the form of nails, spikes, and nail boards placed in secondary roads and fields across the area. The WMA was closed for public safety concerns related to the vandalism.
Throughout the 12-day closure, TWRA personnel have worked to find and remove the dangerous materials. As a result of the cleanup effort, TWRA officials have made significant efforts to find and remove the hazardous material and now are reasonably assured that the WMA is safe again for public use.

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Hog-Related Vandalism Closes TWRA’s Catoosa Management Area

News relelase from TWRA:
NASHVILLE —The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced that Catoosa Wildlife Management Area located in Cumberland, Morgan, and Fentress counties will be closed to all public access effective Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. TWRA officials believe this closure is necessary to ensure the safety of visitors using Catoosa WMA and agency employees working in the area.
Since late June, vandals have placed nails, spikes, and nail-boards in fields, secondary roads, and trails on the WMA. TWRA officials believe this vandalism may be a reaction by a small group of individuals dissatisfied with recent changes in the management of wild hog populations on Catoosa.
As part of the overall strategy to address the increasing wild hog population on the Cumberland Plateau, an aggressive program to trap and remove wild hogs was initiated on Catoosa WMA in early June, according to Kirk Miles, TWRA Region III Wildlife Program Manager. Shortly thereafter, employees began finding nails and spikes in fields and along secondary roads accessing wild hog trap sites.
“Initially, we felt that we were able to effectively find and clean up the vandalized sites,” Miles said. “However, the problem has escalated to the point that we no longer feel the area is safe for public use.”
To date 13 tires have been damaged on TWRA trucks used on the WMA. Ten of the tires had to be replaced. Four tractor tires have had flat tires repaired. One TWRA employee narrowly escaped serious injury when he stepped on a large nail.

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