NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to create a new national wildlife refuge in Middle Tennessee.
The refuge would cover approximately 25,000 acres in Franklin County near Estill Fork, Hurricane Creek and Larkin Fork.
Dwight Cooley, who manages refuges in Alabama, said the tract is one of the most important in the Southeast with respect to natural resources.
Living within it are at least 15 federally endangered or threatened species and a number of species considered endangered or threatened in Tennessee. Much of the land is forested and provides habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” he said. “It’s a wonderful area.”
News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – In a unanimous decision, the Tennessee Supreme Court reinstated a ruling by Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood that a New Market company’s mining activities may continue under the “grandfather clause” despite the enactment of a county zoning ordinance which purported to limit the land use to agriculture.
From the 1880s until 1967, a variety of owners intermittently conducted mining activities on a property in Jefferson County. American Limestone, which sold its interest to Ready Mix, USA, LLC during the lengthy proceedings in the trial court, had re-initiated mining operations only weeks before the county enacted a comprehensive zoning ordinance, which would have prevented use of the land for quarrying gravel or crushed stone. The county issued a stop work order once the ordinance was enacted.
Today, the Tennessee Supreme Court decided that the quarry owned by Ready Mix is protected by the “grandfather clause,” a statute that permits a business to continue if “in operation” at a time a zoning ordinance, which would otherwise prohibit the activity, takes effect. In a unanimous opinion, which included a separate concurrence by Justice William C. Koch, Jr., the Court reversed a ruling by the Court of Appeals, which had dismissed the claim on procedural grounds.
To read the Ready Mix, USA, LLC v. Jefferson County, Tennessee opinion authored by Justice Gary R. Wade visit . https://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/ready_mix_opn.pdf
To read the concurring opinion by Justice William C. Koch, Jr., visit https://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/readymix_con.pdf.
An anonymous mailer targeting 20th Senate District candidate Steve Dickerson hits the Republican for — shock! — playing rock ‘n’ roll, Chas Sisk reports.. “Exposing Steve Dickerson,” a tri-fold mailer that comes complete with a stamp of Ronald Reagan stroking his chin and Barack Obama photoshopped into a doctor’s coat, has been going out in waves this month to select recipients.
The mailer promotes an anti-Dickerson website, www.NoDickerson.com. It lists some of his donors who, like Dickerson, are doctors. But the real expose comes inside, with the disclosure that Dickerson plays in a hard rock band,
Documentation is provided in the form of photographs of Dickerson sporting an earring and bandana and making the horned-finger rock-star gesture.
“Are his values conservative enough for YOU?” the mailer asks. “If not, please vote for one of the other candidates.”
The sender may have had one of Dickerson’s competitors in mind, but none is mentioned. A quick response code in a corner takes the recipient to the No Dickerson website, which contains info on his Republican opponents. No organization is identified.
News release from Tennessee Conservation Voters:Nashville, TN – Yesterday, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law the Tennessee Rock Harvesting Act (SB 1288 / HB 1473). The Tennessee Conservation Voters (TCV) applauds Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly for enacting this important legislation by Senator Steve Southerland and Representative David Hawk.
This Act requires an operator to obtain a permit from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation before engaging in rock harvesting and gives TDEC the right to issue stop-work orders for those without permits.
Rock harvesting is the removal of minerals such as flagstone or fieldstone by an operator with or without machinery. Large-scale surfacing mining of these stones for commercial use can lead to many environmental problems including soil erosion and pollution of groundwater and waterways.
Further regulating and permitting of rock harvesting on private lands will allow for greater environmental protection.
“We have seen the devastation that unregulated rock harvesting can create and support specific rules and regulations that clarify the operations of those who are excavating for rocks. This bill moves Tennessee closer to that objective, and while it may not be perfect from the standpoint of full reclamation, TCV supports it as a strong step in the right direction,” said TCV Executive Director Kim Sasser Hayden. “We thank Senator Southerland and Representative Hawk for their efforts in sponsoring this legislation and working to protect Tennessee’s natural resources.”
Representatives Cameron Sexton, Pat Marsh, John Tidwell, Curtis Johnson, Mike Harrison, Richard Montgomery, Curry Todd, Jon Lundberg, Ron Lollar, Philip Johnson, and Jimmy Eldridge also served as co-sponsors of SB 1288. A copy of this bill may be found at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/HB1473.pdf.
TCV is a statewide non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of Tennessee’ environment and preservation of its natural resources through effective legislation and administrative advocacy. TCV focuses its resources on making environmental protection a top priority for Tennessee’s elected officials, political candidates, and voters. TCV can be found online at www.tnconservationvoters.org.