Fri
Nov 9 2007
07:37 am
By: Rockwood Lawyer

The State has acquired 127,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau. Read more in today's Knoxville News-Sentinel.

These land buys are huge wins for the environment. One aspect that shouldn't be overlooked is the contributions of hunters to make this purchase possible. For example, part of this area will become the "Brimstone Addition" to the Royal Blue Wildlife Management Area. This and other purchases by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are paid for through money collected for hunting and fishing licenses. I have wondered why environmentalists and hunters often seem to be at such odds with each other, when they both have a huge shared interest in these types of conservation acquisitions.

Here in Roane County, we have Mount Roosevelt Wildlife Management Area, which is 11,000 acres just outside Rockwood. This land is open to hiking and other nonhunting activities and is rarely used by hunters except during deer season. In other words, stay out now (unless you are wearing blaze orange), but check this place out in January. 11,000 acres is a lot of land, but there is a lot more out there. I would love to see this area expanded in future land purchases, so that more of our Roane County forests are preserved.

Mt. Roosevelt

I understand the warning about hunting season but please take every opportunity to vist Mt. Roosevelt. Even if all you do is drive up to the tower and look around.

This is a huge untapped opportunity for Rockwood to be the gateway community to a huge outdoor recreation area. Too bad there are no hiking or mountain biking trials marked, maintained, and marketed to the public. It could be a huge draw.

Oh yeah, and there may be

Oh yeah, and there may be more to come. There's another 15 million dollars yet to be allocated but there are serious development pressures on certain lands.

It seems like some folks can't go to a pristine area with significant biological importance without thinking, "Wow, this is beautiful...I can clear cut that forest and put the hotel over there and the golf course over here..."

Roane County is blessed but it's up to us to get out in front of the action and keep what we have.

Time for a new group: "Friends of Mt. Roosevelt?" :)

Perhaps we need a new organization here: Friends of Mt. Roosevelt?

-- OneTahiti

Scenic Roane County

I, too, would like to see more done to protect the scenic viewsheds (I hate that word) and to bring more hiking and biking to Roane County.

Walking on a paved trail in Kingston, Harriman or in the county park isn't enough for many of us.

We really need to be thinking of greenways and natural buffer zones and the like.

Without our natural beauty, we're just a pit stop on I-40.

Mt Roosevelt

There is a group that works to care for it, but they could use some help. Maurice Greif at the Rockwood Visitor Center approached me about KRB placing a couple of trash receptacles at the overlook. We have purchased the hardware and I will be picking up the posts and cans next week to deliver to the Rockwood Street Department. Volunteers will be installing them. If any of you are interested in getting more involved in that area, I am sure Maurice would be a good place to start!

Wendy @ KRB
krbinc@bellsouth.net

Friends of Mt. Roosevelt

Is the group formally organized or just some nice people that try to maintain it? I guess I need to go talk to Maurice.

Let us know what you find

Let us know what you find out.

At one time there were some folks trying to get a hiking trail from Rockwood up to Big Rock (don't ask me, never been there) but it would have had to cross private land.

Update

I talked with Maurice last night. He filled me in on his extensive efforts over the years working with the boy scouts and the State to make the overlook area presentable. He also mentioned that he talked with the Sheriff about using inmates to pick up trash, and that the Sheriff agreed, provided there was sufficient volunteer support (I think Maurice said to transport the inmates, but I could be wrong here).

Maurice said there was not an organized group, but instead just people that have been interested in fixing up this great area. He suggested that early spring would be a great time to begin any new projects.

I have made a call to a contact in Knoxville that has some experience in non-profit organizations, and will see what can be done in that regard.

I would suggest working with

I would suggest working with one of the existing not for profits that are already doing good things like this in Roane County. I think it would fit in well with Keep Roane Beautiful or Save our Cumberland Mountains.

Wylamena, you listening?

I was not listening! I was

I was not listening! I was in the snowy DC area getting educated on how to better help this community. Got some great info I would like to share but not in this spot. If there is a group interested in focusing on Mt Roosevelt, I would be glad to see how KRB can best support the efforts. I must say, KRB has promised trash receptacles and I need to get them delivered. It is a beautiful area with a great potential. Let me know if there is a group interested in being active!

Wylamena

KRB needs a showcase project

In years past we pushed the Lake cleanup and had great Community participation. This could be a great way to energize the local population in a way that would have lasting results, unlike the lake project. Make sure KRB's name is on everything and all the participating groups as well. It's all about the pats on the back.

This info and whole process...

is WAY cool! I like hearing positive things like this!

RB

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