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Tue July 16, 2013
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Tennessee Wilderness Act: Corker, Alexander Try Again

Credit wildsouth.org

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.(WMOT/TNS)  --  Tennessee’s Senators are hoping the third time is the charm for their Tennessee Wilderness Act.

Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker partnered to propose a bill that would expand five current wilderness areas in the state and permanently protect 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest.

According to Jeff Hunter of the organization Wild South, it would also create the first new wilderness area in Tennessee in nearly 30 years.

“That’s the Upper Bald Eagle Wilderness, about 20 miles east of Tellico Plains, Tennessee, right up on the North Carolina border. This is an area that is an intact watershed teaming with amazing biological diversity, from salamander to black bear to all sorts of migratory birds - great hiking trails. Just an amazing area.”

The Knoxville News Sentinel says the legislation authorizing the wilderness area hasn’t faced any particular opposition. The paper says the bill is simply being held up by the current partisan atmosphere in Washington.