Tag Archives: preserve

Doe Mountain Deal Done

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the Nature Conservancy say they expect an $8.8 million purchase of undeveloped property in Johnson County to be a boost to tourism and create jobs.
The state and the conservation organization announced Thursday that they have acquired the 8,600-acre Doe Mountain, just southwest of Mountain City.
Doe Mountain, which contains miles of existing roads and trails, is one of the largest remaining blocks of forest in private ownership in the Southern Blue Ridge region. It will be open to the public.
“Doe Mountain offers a great opportunity for outdoor recreation and the benefits that come with opening up space for people to enjoy, such as healthier communities and new jobs from tourism,” Haslam said in a news release. “I’m pleased we as a state could contribute to this lasting legacy for all Tennesseans.”
Gina Hancock, director of the Tennessee chapter of the Nature Conservancy, told The Associated Press that the property is a failed development project that fell into bankruptcy about five years ago.
She said her organization has been working with the state for about a year to acquire the property, which she expects to help tourism regionally.
“The goal is to … work with North Carolina and Virginia on kind of having a triangle for visitation,” Hancock said.
Portions of Doe Mountain are expected to allow outdoor recreation such as mountain biking, horseback riding and scenic touring by all-terrain vehicles, officials said.

Mountain Seized from Drug Dealers Becomes State Preserve

A remote Tennessee mountain where drug dealers have grown and hidden mounds of marijuana will soon become protected parkland, reports The Tennessean.
Nearly 1,000 acres on Short Mountain in Cannon County will be kept free of development to instead remain wild and natural for hunters and hikers — an unusual outcome for forfeited drug property.
But this was no ordinary land. The gentle slopes and craggy ridges amazed federal drug investigators who were in on the raid and led scientists to discover species of crayfish, salamanders and beetles not found anywhere else. And the water that runs off the mountain — the tallest point in Middle Tennessee at 2,074 feet — flows down in every direction.
The deal to conserve the drug land, signed recently after years of negotiations, is one of just four such transfers in the nation in 15 years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s also by far the largest. In Tennessee, such an arrangement has no precedent.
A huge win for conservationists, who worked for years to convince government and police agencies of its merit, the deal preserves some of the most beautiful land in the state. Those who put it together say that made more sense than selling it off to recoup all of the money poured into the drug investigation.

Preserving Boxes of Supreme TN History

The State Library and Archives is moving to preserve about 10,000 boxes of Tennessee Supreme Court cases dating from the state’s birth in 1796 into the 1950s. The Tennessean reports that about 20 employees devote four hours a week to the project that involves mostly handwritten documents, using scissors, a brush, sponge, pliers and magnifying glass.
The boxes take up an entire half of the eighth floor of the library and archives building on Seventh Avenue North in downtown Nashville and constitute what Assistant State Archivist Wayne Moore called “the largest body of official state records we have.”
Moore said he doesn’t know of any other state that has “grappled with the entire body of its Supreme Court” cases as Tennessee is now doing.
The case files were largely neglected in the attic of the Capitol building across the street for years, where they accumulated coal dust during the latter half of the 19th century because most Nashville buildings were heated by coal. The records are in dire need of inventorying and preservation.
…The preservation project was spearheaded by the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society in 2006 and has been kept afloat with about $100,000 in grants over the years from various sources, including the federal government and Ancestry.com, a genealogy website. Graduate assistants from Middle Tennessee State University’s archival studies program have been hired when money was available.
While only 20 percent complete, the project has already turned up some gems interspersed among mundane estate settlements, routine deaths and thousands of cases involving livestock killed by trains.
The Scopes Monkey Trial case file, lawsuits challenging Jim Crow legislation, and cases involving Andrew Jackson both as a judge and as a litigant are among the interesting and historically significant materials unearthed.