On Monday, The Nature Conservancy made a big purchase consisting of 100,000 acres of land. This has been a great achievement for the conservancy, and all members are very proud of this.
Terry Cook, The Nature Conservancy Tennessee state director and conservation leader, purchased the property from a timber company. He got to announce the aquisition, which is the largest in the Tennessee chapters 41 years active.
With this purchase, the 100,000 acres of land can now be protected by TNC. The wildlife habitat is now much safer, secure and clean water will be protected as well, and TNC has decided to keep the property open to the public as well.
“I think this is, for me personally, one of the proudest moments I’ve had with TNC and I’ve been with them for 25 years,” Cook said. “It’s a project that really only comes along once in a lifetime in terms of the scale and impact of it.”
It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity. With this being the largest amount of land aquired by Tennessee’s TNC chapter, it’s definitely a big milestone for the conservancy.
He said that it was a “happy coincidence” that they were able to announce the deal on Earth Day.
Cook wasn’t permitted to disclose any further details about the deal besides that it was purchased from a timber company. What is known to the public though is just how much land was purchased overall.
Protecting the environment
The 100,000 acres of land covers 156 square miles, spanning across northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky. The land stretches from Claiborne and Campbell counties in Tennessee to Bell, Knox, and Leslie counties in Kentucky.
The land consists of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area located in Tennessee, the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and the Kentucky Ridge State Forest which are both located in Kentucky.
Previously, The Nature Conservancy had owned 340,000 acres across the state of Tennessee. With this purchase, they now have the 1,720 acres of land that comprises the Cumberland Mountain State Park and 24,000 acres of the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.
“This is one of the largest conservation projects in the Tennessee chapter’s history and a truly phenomenal accomplishment,” said former U.S. Senator Bill Frist. He’s now on the TNC board of directors.
The group plans to continue to preserve the land and protect the environment while also supporting economic development in the area. They plan to work with locals to create nature based tourism and other outdoor activities.
“It’s not going to be set up as a preserve that keeps people out, but we’re going to work with our local partners and the communities … the public will have access to it.” said Cook.
The purchase of this property is great for the environment, protecting wildlife living inside the forests as well. In addition to this, TNC will also secure clean water for people in areas surrounding.