The Land Trust for TennesseeIt is extremely effective in using this flexible legal instrument to achieve many good ends. The organization Protected thousands of acres of land parcels.However, the state has been able to work in partnership with government agencies to add tracts of protected land to existing areas. This has allowed for the expansion of critical wildlife ecosystems in the state.
The Land Trust for Tennessee worked with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and helped to purchase 68 acres in grassland that was designated as the site for a wastewater treatment plant for a high-density residential development. Although it is a small area by state standards, it is located along a flyway that is used by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Threatened sandhill cranesDuring migration to their wintering ground at the nearby Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. Today This land is part the wildlife refugeProtected for generations by sandhill cranes. Tennesseans.
Another example of such partnerships was the collaboration between the Land Trust for Tennessee and the University of the South at Sewanee. To purchase 3,000 acres of timber company land around Lost Coveon the Cumberland Plateau. This purchase not only protects the biodiversity-rich cove but also expands the land already protected in the Natural Bridge State Natural Area and Franklin State Forest. These protected areas, along with three adjacent private tracts that have conservation easements, create a large wildlife corridor. They also protect rare species of plants that are not found anywhere else on Earth.
Many outsiders believe that our science-denying elected representatives represent the views of the Southern rank-and file about the environment. However, this is false. The majority of people here know that the climate is warming, regardless of what their leaders claim, and that extreme weather will continue to come. Liberals and conservatives expect their governments protect their drinking water. Young or old, if a factory is releasing pollutants that cause illness, they expect someone to stop it. They are either black or brown, rich or poor, and they are concerned to see a warning sign at a riverbank that the fish are unsafe to eat.
Southerly, The Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Land Trust for Tennessee (all three regional organizations) are all working together to create a safe future for all people by using a variety strategies. They work to ensure that the planet is safe for all its inhabitants, both human and non-human.
This essay is part Times Opinions Holiday Giving Guide 2021. You can visit the Times Opinion Giving Guide website if you are interested in any of the organizations mentioned. The Times and The Times are unable to answer queries about the groups, or facilitate donations.
Margaret Renkl is a contributing Opinion writer and the author of these books Graceland, at last: Notes on Hope & Heartache from the American South Late Migrations: An Natural History of Love & Loss.
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