The Land Trust for Tennessee Protects Land Connecting Parks On the Cumberland Plateau
Press Release from:
The Land Trust for Tennessee
The Land Trust for Tennessee announced today the protection of 324 acres of high conservation value forestland in the South Cumberland Plateau region of White and Van Buren Counties.
The land – which contains over a mile of Bee Creek - is owned by Paul Putnam from Dalton, Georgia. The property is protected through a working forest conservation easement held by The Land Trust for Tennessee and will remain privately owned.
The property directly connects the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness to Bledsoe State Forest. The property also adjoins the Boy Scouts of America’s Latimer High Adventure Reservation. These lands, together with Fall Creek Falls State Park and Virgin Falls State Natural Area, form over 55,000 contiguous acres of protected forestland.
White fringeless orchid
“The Putnam property is such an important link between some of Tennessee’s most prized recreational areas” said Jeanie Nelson, Executive Director of The Land Trust for Tennessee. “The knitting together of publicly and privately-protected lands is what makes Tennessee’s landscape so unique.”
“We are delighted that our neighbors believe as we do in preserving the wilderness areas of Tennessee for future generations to enjoy” said Hugh Travis, Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America’s Middle Tennessee Council.
In addition to their exceptional biological diversity, these lands provide incomparable recreational opportunities while serving as an important resource for water quality protection and local forest products. More than one million people visit these lands annually, essential to the tourism industry in the South Cumberland region.
Protection of the Putnam property is especially important to maintaining the views from Bledsoe State Forest and Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness, and maintaining water quality in Bee Creek, a major tributary to the Caney Fork River. The property also provides an important forest buffer to an important cave system in the area.
“Having a tool like a conservation easement allows me to still be able to use and enjoy the property, while at the same time ensuring its long-term protection for generations to come” said Paul Putnam.
If property owners allow a conservation easement to be placed on all or some of their property, they could be eligible for a federal income tax deduction up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income for up to 16 years. Farmers and ranchers can deduct up to 100 percent of their income. It expires at the end of this year and is available for any property owner.