Tag Archives: Rocky

Unicoi Tract to Become Tennessee’s 55th State Park

A 2,000-acre tract of land in the Rocky Ford area of Unicoi County will become Tennessee’s 55th state park, officials said Tuesday in a ceremony announcing the land has been conveyed to the state.
From the Johnson City Press report on the event:
Gov. Bill Haslam said he grew up not too far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is the country’s most visited national park and is regarded for its scenic beauty. However, he said the sights and scenery offered in Rocky Fork, a portion of which is set to become Tennessee’s newest state park, rival those offered in the national park.
“You see the waterfalls and incredible protected woodland area, it’s a great thing to have,” Haslam said. “In Tennessee, what we want to do is we want to protect those things that make Tennessee special and we want to provide opportunities for all citizens to be out and enjoy them. This is going to allow us to do both of them.”
The governor and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, as well as state and local officials, were on hand at the Zane Whitson Welcome Center on Tuesday, where it was announced that around 2,000 acres of the approximately 10,000-acre tract that makes up Rocky Fork will become the state’s 55th state park.


Note: The TDEC news release is below.

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U.S. Forest Service Completes Purchase of 10,000 Acres in NE TN

ERWIN, Tenn. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has completed its purchase of a large undeveloped tract of land in the Appalachians.
The tract, known as Rocky Fork, is nearly 10,000 acres and lies in Unicoi and Greene counties in East Tennessee. The Johnson City Press (http://bit.ly/WvsG15) reported $5 million in funding from the USDA helped it finalized the purchase of 1,200 acres — the last section that was privately owned.
Preserving as much of Rocky Fork as possible became a priority of the U.S. Forest Service when it acquired the first parcel of it in 2008 as the land went up for sale.
In all, the Forest Service has spent $40 million to keep 7,667 acres open for public use. The Conservation Fund owns about 2,000 acres of the tract.
“This final Forest Service acquisition is huge, not only in the number of acres, but in potential economic impacts,” District Ranger Terry Bowerman said in a statement about the purchase. “It will also help conserve and protect many outstanding natural and scenic resources. This is truly a dream come true for many people.”

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FBI Records Show Ned McWherter Never Implicated in Corruption Scandals of His Era

By Erik Schelzig
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ned McWherter, one of the most powerful Tennessee Democrats during his quarter century in public life, never got caught up in any of the FBI undercover investigations that pushed another governor out of office early and led to several prison sentences and suicides for others in his party.
The Associated Press obtained the 217-page FBI file on McWherter, who died in April, through a Freedom of Information Act request.
A 1995 background check into McWherter’s life and political career ruled out any involvement in an undercover investigation that rocked state government while he was governor.
“Although Mr. McWherter was surrounded by individuals who were involved in the bingo scam … he at no time was a subject, witness, or a target in the Rockytop investigation,” according to the memo.

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