Sherrell schedules community meeting about TWRA's proposed clearcutting

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Paul Sherrell, Tennessee state representative, has schedule a community meeting for 6 p.m., Oct. 4, at Sparta Civic Center, about the proposed Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s plan to alter the landscape of the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness, which extends between White and Van Buren counties.

Sherrell said he is helping the residents in his home county to oppose the plan.

The cutting, which is scheduled to begin this fall, will include trees between Eastland Road and the Virgin Falls parking area and will destroy the trails to Jenny’s Branch, Polly’s Branch and Puncheon Camp Falls.

Reportedly, the purpose of the cutting is to create quail habitat, but the confusion stems from the fact there is already a quail habitat in the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness.

Also troublesome to those who have been researching the proposed project is the fact the area was a gift from the Bridgestone Firestone Company. The Tennessee Trails Association, along with the Friends of Virgin Falls, have worked and fought to be sure the property remains pristine and beautiful. Also of concern is the discovery that if and when TWRA does the cutting of the hardwoods, they can keep 100 percent of the profits from the sales.

Sherrell also encouraged anyone with concerns or questions to call his office at (615) 741-1963.

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