Posted on December 11, 2018
WASHINGTON, December 11, 2018 – United States Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Representative Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) today said the Tennessee Wilderness Act is “one step closer to becoming law,” after it was included as a provision in the Farm bill, which is expected to be voted on before Congress adjourns later this month.
“The Tennessee Wilderness Act has been included in the Farm bill that Congress is expected to vote on soon, which means it is one step closer to becoming law. The legislation will protect 20,000 acres of federal land in the Cherokee National Forest as ‘wilderness,’ where we can roam and enjoy nature,” Alexander said. “This is land in East Tennessee that's already managed as wilderness, but not made a part of the wilderness law. Designation as wilderness will not only better protect ecosystems and watersheds, but also benefit the diverse recreational value of these areas, which is a major part of East Tennessee’s economy. I thank Senator Corker, Congressman Roe, and the many Tennesseans who’ve gotten in touch with us about making the Tennessee Wilderness Act law.”
“Millions of people visit Tennessee each year to experience our incredible God-given outdoor amenities, and it’s important that the Cherokee National Forest be preserved for future generations of Americans to enjoy,” said Corker. “I thank Senator Alexander and Representative Roe for their commitment to protecting our wilderness and am glad the conference committee included the Tennessee Wilderness Act in the final farm bill.”
“I am fortunate to represent a district blessed with natural beauty, and as an avid outdoorsman, I strongly believe we must protect the beautiful lands we’re fortunate to have in East Tennessee,” Roe said. “That’s why I am pleased to see the Tennessee Wilderness Act be included in the Farm Bill that is set to be voted on later this week in the House, which will preserve thousands of acres in East Tennessee. As the House sponsor of this legislation, I commend Senator Alexander for his tireless efforts to pass this bill and join with Senator Corker in strongly supporting this important effort. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to keep Tennessee beautiful for generations to come.”
The Tennessee Wilderness Act – legislation introduced by Alexander, Corker and Roe – would designate nearly 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest as wilderness area. Designation as a wilderness area is the highest level of conservation protection to preserve federal land. The legislation is included in the Farm bill, which is expected to pass the House of Representatives and the Senate. If it passes, the legislation will then head to President Trump’s desk to become law.
Lamar Alexander is the senior senator from Tennessee, and he serves as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. For his full biography, click here.