Alexander, Frist Announce More Than $10 Million For Tennessee Park And Forest Projects

Posted on October 29, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 Interior Appropriations conference report includes more than $10 million to support Tennessee's forest and park priorities. "Our children deserve to be able to enjoy the beauty of our parks and forests," said Frist. "Senator Alexander and I have worked hard to ensure that our state's parks and forest projects receive the support they deserve. This funding preserves such historically and environmentally critical landmarks as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest. I applaud the conference committee for their quick work and look forward to its immediate approval." "The natural beauty of Tennessee is one of the most valuable resources that Tennesseans share," Alexander said. "Our parks and forests unite us as a state, from the Smoky Mountains in the east, to the Cumberland Plateau, all the way to the Mississippi River in the west. I will continue to work with Senator Frist to guarantee that future generations can enjoy these natural treasures." Specific projects funded in the FY 2004 Interior conference report include:
  • $525,000 for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to begin planning and design work to rehabilitate comfort stations and picnic and camping facilities throughout the park.
  • $1.8 million for Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge to acquire 900 acres of bottomland, hardwood forest in the lower Mississippi Valley near Henning, TN.
  • $750,000 for Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge to purchase two tracts of land containing 788 acres near Ripley, TN, in the western part of the state.
  • $838,000 for the acquisition of the Jim Creek Parcel, which is adjacent to Pickett State Forest and the Tally Wilderness area, located just outside Jamestown, TN.
  • $750,000 for the Obed Wild and Scenic River to acquire 700 acres of land near Wartburg, TN.
  • $3.8 million for the Cherokee National Forest to purchase approximately 2,649 acres of the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork Tract located in the Tri-Cities area. This represents the second of three proposed purchases.
  • $674,000 for the Chilhowee Recreation Area in the Cherokee National Forest to improve facilities.
  • $1 million for the acquisition of the Ray/Gettelfinger Tract, located in the northern Cumberland Plateau near Rugby, TN, between the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Pickett State Forest.
  • $200,000 for the Bemis Historical Society to rehabilitate and preserve the Historic Bemis Auditorium.
  • $500,000 for the Moccasin Bend Archeological District to combat erosion problems.
The conference report awaits final approval by the House and Senate.