To celebrate Earth Day 2013, Tennessee Wild will be participating in a series of festivals around the state. Staffed primarily by volunteers, the Tennessee Wild displays will feature information about the Tennessee Wilderness Act; a federal bill that upon passage will permanently protect 19,558 acres of the Cherokee National Forest as federal wilderness.
Currently, the Tennessee Wilderness Act awaits reintroduction in the U.S. Senate. Senators Lamar Alexander & Bob Corker have co-sponsered this bill the last two sessions of Congress, but unfortunately, the bill has languished due to the partisan gridlock that has unfortunately characterized Congress of late. Citizens are urged to write to Congress and ask their Senators to reintroduce the Tennessee Wilderness Act, and pass this important bill this Congress.
According to Tennessee Wild’s Jeff Hunter, “Wilderness is, and always has been a bipartisan issue. This common sense bill affords future generations of Americans the opportunity to experience untrammeled America in the forests of East Tennessee.” The Tennessee Wilderness Act has no cost associated with it, since the lands are already in public ownership. The bill will simply codify the recommendations of the USDA Forest Service, and bring nearly 20,000 acres of arguably, the most biologically rich temperate forests in the world, under the protections of the Wilderness Act.
Tennessee Wild will have a presence at the following festivals over the next week;
Saturday April 20:
- EarthFest at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, 10a-5p EDT
- Outdoor Chattanooga’s Outdoor Festival & Gear Swap at Coolidge Park, 10a – 4p EDT
- Nashville Earth Day at Centennial Park, 11a – 5p CDT
Sunday April 27:
- Madisonville Earth Day at Madisonville Presbyterian Church, 12:30p – 4p EDT
Saturday April 27:
- Murfreesboro Earth Day at Historic Downtown Square, 10a – 2p CDT
- Oak Ridge Earth Day at Bissell Park, 11a – 5p EDT
To learn more about Tennessee Wild’s participation in Earth Day activitries around Tennessee you can read or listen to this report from the Tennessee Public News Service. If you are unable to attend any of the above listed Earth Day events, please visit the Tennessee Wild Take Action page, and call, write or email your Congressional representatives, and ask them to vote YES for wilderness in Tennessee.