TCWP (Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning) is dedicated to achieving and perpetuating protection of natural lands and waters by means of public ownership, legislation, or cooperation of the private sector. While our first focus is on the Cumberland and Appalachian regions of East Tennessee, our efforts may extend to the rest of the state and the nation. TCWP's strength lies in researching information pertinent to an issue, informing and educating our membership and the public, interacting with groups having similar objectives, and working through the legislative, administrative, and judicial branches of government on the federal, state, and local levels.

For more information about TCWP click here


TCWP sponsors outdoor activities and informational programs.

Hike Black Mountain/Windlass Cave Sat., April 26

    A new section of the Cumberland Trail, from Black Mountain to Windlass Cave will be the site of a botanizing expedition on Saturday, April 26. Featuring well-known area botanist Larry Pounds (below), the outing will highlight the variety of plants and habitats influenced by sandstone and limestone geology.

    The distance is about four miles. We will start at the top of Black Mountain and hike downhill on the Cumberland Trail to Highway 68, with a lunch stop at Windlass Cave. A shuttle will be set up at Crab Orchard.

    Meet for carpooling at 10 a.m. Eastern in the Rush/Books-a-Million parking lot in Oak Ridge (at the end close to S. Illinois Avenue, near Salsarita's) or at 11 a.m. Eastern (10 a.m. Central) at the BP Station at the I-40 Crab Orchard exit 329, east of Crossville. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and bring raingear, insect repellant, water, and lunch.

    This outing, cosponsored by Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and the Tennessee Native Plant Society, is the first time for a spring plant survey on this newly opened section of the Cumberland Trail. For more information, contact Larry Pounds at 865-705-8516 or

    Hike Leader Larry Pounds

HELP WANTED, Saturday, April 26

    Seeking outgoing conservation-minded volunteers to staff TCWP's table at Oak Ridge EarthDay for 2 hour shift on Saturday, April 26. Training provided; for more information, call or write 865.583-3967 or

Tennessee's wilderness takes critical step toward protection April 8, 2014
Local community cheers Senators and urges for House introduction

    Senate Committee passage of the Tennessee Wilderness Act (S. 1294) was applauded today by a diverse coalition of hunters, anglers, business owners, faith leaders, outdoor recreationists, and conservationists. Members of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee approved the bill and sent it to the Senate floor. The Act's sponsor, Sen. Lamar Alexander, testified in favor of the legislation. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker, and was first introduced in 2010 during the 111th Congress. The measure could result in the first new wilderness for Tennessee in 25 years

Tenn. Wilderness Bill Supporters meet with Cong. Fleischmann staffer
l-r Scotty Bowman, Mary Lynn Dobson, Sandra K. Goss, Lee Russell, Jimmy Groton, David Hennessee

    “We applaud the Senators for their continued commitment to safeguard Tennessee's wilderness,” said Sandra Goss, a member of the Tennessee Wild Coalition. “People from both sides of the political aisle and all walks of life support preserving East Tennessee's wilderness for future generations to enjoy. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and we urge Congress to protect our wild areas in Cherokee National Forest.”

    The Tennessee Wilderness Act will safeguard nearly 20,000 acres of public land, expanding five existing wilderness areas and creating the new Upper Bald River Wilderness Area. All of these areas were recommended for wilderness designation in the U.S. Forest Service's 2004 management plan. Widespread support for the conservation bill includes endorsements from hikers, hunters, business owners, local lawmakers, members of the faith community, and others.

Tennessee Wilderness Bill Supporters Visit with Oak Ridger editor
l-r Sandra K. Goss, Lee Russell, Jimmy Groton, Mary Lynn Dobson

    “My business depends on the people who enjoy getting out and hiking, climbing, paddling, and fishing and hunting in our great outdoors,” said Dawson Wheeler, owner of Rock/Creek Outfitters in Chattanooga and Ocoee. “I see the direct benefit wilderness provides to the local economy and the positive impact it has on our way of life. It is important that our elected officials understand the economic importance of conservation, and I am thankful that our Senators do.”

    The Tennessee Wilderness Act would safeguard clean drinking water for surrounding communities. It would also preserve important wildlife habitat for brook trout, black bear, bobcat, white-tailed deer, and many other species. Hiking is very popular in the proposed areas, and the bill includes parts of the historic Appalachian and Benton MacKaye trails.

    “The Tennessee Wilderness Act is a win-win for Tennessee,” said local entrepreneur and outdoorsman David Barto. “My family business is thriving because people recognize that Eastern Tennessee is a beautiful place to live. When not working, I like to go and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Cherokee National Forest. I want to thank Senators Alexander and Corker for their leadership, and urge our Tennessee delegation to support this legislation.”

    Outdoor recreation is a booming industry in Tennessee. It generates $8.2 billion in consumer spending annually and supports 83,000 jobs, and the Cherokee National Forest is a vital part of that economic engine. Preserving 19,556 acres of the forest as wilderness will enhance the state's reputation as a premier outdoor recreation destination.

    The Tennessee Wilderness Act now awaits a floor vote in the full U.S. Senate and introduction in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Support TCWP through your Kroger purchases

    TCWP is now enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. TCWP supporters are encouraged to register online at Registration requires one to sign on to Kroger’s web site and establish a password through the Sign Up Today New Customer box.

     With your password, click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards information and input your Kroger Plus card number. Then enter TCWP’s number, which is 26906.

     Once this process is completed, every time your Kroger Plus card is used on check-out, TCWP will receive a credit. Kroger will send TCWP a check each quarter that reflects a percentage of all purchases made by TCWP shoppers.

     For help navigating the registration process, please call Sandra at 865. 583-3967. Thanks to everyone for supporting TCWP when you shop at Kroger.

Lee Russell’s 90th Birthday Celebration was a jubilant gathering of Lee’s ORNL colleagues, TCWP friends, and others.
See pictures by Ray Smith

A proposed win-win alternative to the proposed 69 kV above ground power line near Oak Ridge greenway

     Industrial development continues to threaten conservation and recreation in west Oak Ridge, at the boundary between the Department of Energy's Black Oak Ridge Conservation Easement (BORCE) and the Horizon Center industrial park on Parcel ED-1. The industrial park was built without enough electrical capacity to accommodate the businesses that Oak Ridge would like to recruit. The solution devised by the city's electric department and economic development leaders is to build an overhead powerline along the narrow DOE road that forms the boundary of the BORCE and Parcel ED-1 – a well-shaded road that has become a popular public greenway trail in the last few years, since the BORCE was established. A powerline would result in the permanent clearing of the right-of-way, plus the removal of trees outside the right-of-way that could fall on the powerline . . . READ MORE


April 10 - – Informational program by Dodd Galbreath: Comparison of European and U.S. Sustainability Practices
April 12 - Big South Fork raft trip/river cleanup
Saturday, April 12 – Community Shares Circle of Change Banquet
Thursday, April 17 – TCWP Board Meeting
Saturday, April 26 - Black Mountain/Windlass Cave Outing
Saturday, April 26 - Oak Ridge Earth Day

May 10 - Obed River cleanup

For more information, call TCWP Executive Director Sandra at 865-583-3967, or send email to

You may donate securely to TCWP with your Credit Card by clicking on the DONATE button below

( Your monthly Credit Card Statement will mention PayPal, not TCWP.)

007886 hits since January 29, 2014