Crowd becomes agitated at reports of closing Cane Hollow

By | October 4, 2018 8:07 am

Individuals gather at Big Puckett’s Campground, on Oct. 2, to express their concerns about the closure of Cane Hollow. (Photo by RIMA AUSTIN)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Resource Manager Kevin Salvilla addressed a packed house at Big Puckett’s Campground, on Tuesday night, in a town-hall-type meeting to inform them of the impending closing of the Cane Hollow recreational area.

When the floor was opened for questions, members of the crowd expressed their concerns and anger at the closing.

Salvilla expressed to the crowd the closing would be temporary for the area to recoup from the abuse it has endured over the years because of off-road vehicles and littering. He stated drug use and sexual assaults were prevalent in the area as well, and the closing is important to let potential lawbreakers know their activities are not welcomed at the site anymore.

“There has been rapes and domestic assaults here,” said Salvilla. “A lot of our gang activity happens down there. This just isn’t sustainable.”

Salvilla stated the closing would involve any vehicles being driven onto the property as well as the boat ramp. He explained that anyone who puts a boat in the water at another location and would like to dock on the shore of Cane Hollow will be allowed to do so, but no motorized vehicles will be permitted on the shore.

Some boaters within the crowd expressed anger that the only recreational activity they take part in was being stripped away from them. Salvilla assured them the closing is only temporary, and the area should be opened back up to visitors within a couple of years. Members in the crowd replied with heckling at this statement, with some calling him a liar.

“The time and resources I have spent at Cane Hollow trying to clean it up compared to the other places I have to be is ridiculous,” said Salvilla.

The scheduled date for closing the area is in the spring of 2019. Salvilla explained to those in attendance they are more than welcome to submit any ideas they may have that would allow the place to remain open. He did warn the crowd, however, that he could not allow anyone in to attempt to clean the area of trash because of the hazards of used needles.

“I can’t let anyone in there to do that,” said Salvilla. “The risk of being exposed to HIV and other blood-borne diseases is too great.”

Anyone wishing to submit ideas toward keeping the Cane Hollow campground open can reach Kevin Salvilla at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at (931) 858-3125. There will be another town hall meeting about the same subject at Big Puckett’s Campground at 6 p.m., Oct. 16.

comments » 5

  1. Comment by Fran Salamone

    October 4, 2018 at 9:11 am

    This is so sad as this is like a second home to me and the kids that i bring camping there. I agree the “TRASH” needs to be removed and stopped as there are bad things that go on there but thats as simple as monitoring it with the presence of authority coming through. Most of the bad stuff that goes on there is during the hours from maybe 10:30 or later into the morning hours and its mostly in the back. The big parties, loud music, alcohol, drugs, needles, etc. We love having bonfires, swimming, camping, kayaking, fishing, etc. We clean up our area when we get there putting all the trash in the fire then we clean up our area before we leave. If everyone had that respect for the place it would be great. I don’t know what i’ll do when they close the place, it’s very dear to our hearts :(

  2. Comment by Janie

    October 4, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    This is the safest place I take my kids and grandbaby we never have had a problem there and I was there weeks at a time

  3. Comment by Danny henry

    October 4, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Why not place armed security in the park
    Close at nights
    And do not be afraid to arrest
    I am 65 and grew up fishing there and my family also
    Cameras etc catch the one abusing this small piece of peace of earth

  4. Comment by Mary lafevet

    October 5, 2018 at 11:52 am

    I for one would be glad to volunteer. I am well aware of proper needle disposal from taking care of a diabetic. Many of my grandchildren also know the precautions and would help.

  5. Comment by Debbie Cole Cantrell

    October 7, 2018 at 1:02 am

    it’s one of our beautiful places in TN
    my family like to camp there
    but, my concern was the broken glass, needles etc and gun shooting
    I have children and care about their safety as well as my own
    Thank you again for cleaning up this place and plans to making it a safer place for family fun…. Gods speed

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