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FLC's 2011 Conservation Partnerships (Part 2)!

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This week, Foothills Land Conservancy partnered with property owner, Millard Oakely, to preserve close to 1700 acres in the upper middle Tennessee counties of Cumberland, Scott and Overton. All three properties fall in the Cumberland Plateau area - which runs diagonally across our state in a 450-mile-long swath between Nashville and Knoxville and, according to The Nature Conservancy, is said to be “...the world’s longest hardwood-forested plateau and is widely considered one of the most biologically rich regions on Earth, rivaling the biodiversity of tropical rainforests.”  A description of each property is included below. Stay tuned - we'll have more announcements coming your way shortly!

Cumberland County

Catoosa Ridge - Millard Oakely (800 Acres)


The 800 acre Catoosa property lies in the Clear Creek and Big South Fork watersheds in Cumberland  County near Crossville, TN. This tract adjoins one of the largest areas of public conservation land in the region, Catoosa Wildlife Management Area (WMA), an 82,000 acre game management preserve managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Clean water is abundant on the property. Catoosa is bounded almost entirely on one side by seven miles of No Business Creek. Just beyond the parcel’s boundaryR0013624, this creek joins Clear Creek and then flows in to the Obed River and on to The Tennessee River.   Having extensive frontage along No Business Creek and How Come You Creek, as well as numerous small side creeks and seeps, the Catoosa Property contains essential riparian zones and buffer zones to support critical habitat for aquatic wildlife. Species such as salamander and other amphibians depend on year-round clean water. No Business Creek was classified in the Tennessee River Assessment as having regional significance for its natural and scenic qualities, as well as having excellent water quality.  The Property falls in the Big South Fork watershed, which supports 10 federally listed endangered or threatened species, including five species of mussel. Roughly 300 acres of the upland areas of the Catoosa property are in pine plantations. The parcel’s interlaced pine plantation, mixed oak forest, mixed mesophytic forest and abundant water offer year-round food, water and shelter for a highly diverse wildlife community. 

CatoosaRidgeEasement_AerialPhotoMap 2

Scott County

Honey Creek - Millard Oakely (555 acres)


Among the many interesting aspects to the Honey Creek property, one stands out above the rest, the fact that this parcel adjoins the 125,000 acres of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (BSFNRRA).  The significant area of public land in the vicinity allows for abundant habitat capable of supporting healthy populations of many native and non-native game and non-game species.  Per the FLC conservation easement agreement, 50 acres of the Honey Creek property will be donated over to BSFNRRA in the near future. One of the most crucial resources on the property is the abundance of clean water.  With four large creeks, numerous smaller side creeks and associated riparian areas, including the headwaters for two especially important creeks (Honey Creek and North White Oak Creek), the property provides plentiful water of good quality to resident and migrant species. 

Honey Creek

Although roughly 75% of the Honey Creek property is in pine plantation, the property is regularly dissected by a diverse mature native forest dominated by oak species.  This diversity combined with a variety of slopes, rockshelters, rock outcrops, multiple streams collectively support abundant relatively natural habitat for a variety of both plants and animals. At least 87 species of rare, threatened or endangered plant and animal species are known from the Big South Fork watershed, which includes the property, Honey Creek and North White Oak Creek.


Overton County

Roaring River - Millard Oakely (400 acres)


The 403 acre Oakley Property lies in the Cumberland River/Cordell Hull Lake watershed. It's located in Overton County, TN, near Livingston along the north central section of the Cumberland Plateau. The property contains nearly 13,000 feet of frontage along the Roaring River. This section of the river is classified as a Class I Natural River Area (TN Scenic Rivers Act), and is rated as having regional significance for natural and scenic qualities, and for good fishing and recreational boating.

Roaring River

The Oakley Property is roughly 25% wooded with the remainder in agricultural fields. The farm is being used by Tennessee Technical University as a research center and learning space. The farm fields are currently being used to graze cattle and for hay. There are three large ponds and two barns located on the Property but there are currently no residential structures. The portion of the land that abuts the Roaring River consists of mixed mesophytic woods including, hemlock, tulip poplar, oaks and magnolia. Within close proximity to the Oakley Property is the 11,000 acre Standing Stone State Park, the 8,445 acre Standing Stone State Forest, and the 1,642 acre Alpine Mountain Wildlife Management Area. These protected lands could very well collectively benefit from the non-development of the Oakley Property.

Join FLC in the protection and preservation of East Tennessee's cherished mountains, working farms and rural landscapes. 

Pledge today and assist Foothills with the continued expansion of preserved lands throughout our region. FLC is a 501(c)(3) and does not receive any financial assistance from local, state or federal governments. We rely on individual and corporate contributions to sustain our organizational, land acquisition and stewardship funds. Click here to print and mail a donation form or click here to donate online.

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