Save the Hardwoods

This page is dedicated to the fight to save the hardwoods on the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area from being deforested by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA). This fight began with the Bridgestone-Firestone Wilderness Area in White County, where the fight continues. The Cumberland Plateau is home to some of the most diverse and unique hardwoods in the eastern US and they need our help.

Please consider signing our petition to save the hardwoods in Catoosa from further logging. That form can be found at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSflavN4JIaw4nN18fYF3-pw9GMYYo2-D5D5Di6kB0hF7uF1SQ/viewform

For decades, the TWRA has kept the profits from the sale of  timber and other natural resources on publicly-owned lands, folding the payments from logging companies into the agency’s annual operating budget. Legislation is being considered that would put a stop to that. A recent news article reported that “The wildlife agency (TWRA) is unique among state agencies in keeping the proceeds of sales of public resources within its own budget, instead of transferring them to the state’s general fund. Legislation proposed this year would bring that practice to a halt.”

Many of us feel this is important, much-needed legislation that would likely also bring to halt all the clear-cutting that is taking place on TWRA lands. I invite you to see what is being done with your own eyes before determining how you stand on this issue. Seeing the landscape after the cutting could have a big impact on your opinion.

That quote above is from an article published here https://tennesseelookout.com/2022/02/03/wildlife-officials-scale-down-deforestation-plans-at-bridgestone-firestone-centennial-wilderness-area/?fbclid=IwAR0EuDvmMFAbjnTzpr82bNJdzgfpMT1Az_AMKaSzJs04JMRM6Go2ObUAuE8 and is certainly worth a read. While that article focuses on the Bridgestone-Firestone Wilderness Area of White County, it gives an idea of what one is up against when dealing with TWRA.

I have been contacted by hunters and conservationists to try to fight this clear-cutting. As a county commissioner, it is my responsibility to see what can be done and to get answers that TWRA is so reluctant to give.

TWRA used to go into schools to teach kids about conservation and being good stewards of the Earth. They no longer do that. They desperately need to get back to the days of teaching and practicing responsible management of wildlife habitats.

We’re looking into whether or not environmental impact studies have been done. Judging by the erosion into Myatt’s creek we doubt that was done. I have contacted the EPA and TDEC.

Thank you.

To contact Cameron Sexton please see https://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/members/h25.html

For John Rose please see https://johnrose.house.gov/

For Paul Bailey please see https://www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/members/s15.html