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White County Considering Legal Action Against TWRA Habitat Project

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Considering Legal Action Against TWRA Habitat Project

White County is exploring legal avenues against TWRA’s clear cutting project at the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area.

The County Commission held an attorney-client privilege meeting Monday night. County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson said the county discussed options with County Attorney John Meadows.

“We are looking if there is any legal avenues that we can pursue,” Robinson said. “We were presented with some information. I’ll distribute that out to commissioners, and there is a possibility that legal actions may be forthcoming by White County.”

Robinson said from the discussions, a special called meeting to consider options has been planned for February 3rd. Robinson said the habitat project would be a disaster, seeing the old hardwoods cut down.

“There is no place on earth like that up there,” Robinson said. “Some of those trees are hundreds of years old. It’s a beautiful place. It draws tourists from everywhere. That would be such a terrible disgrace and disaster for the county to see that clear cut away. We don’t want that to happen.”

The three-phased habitat project would change over 2,000 acres to quail environment over three to five years. TWRA began the bid process to survey the land of phase one in December.

According to the cutting plan shared by TWRA during December’s Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting, harvesting will begin in March. The north side or, “The Farm,” and the south side or the, “Big Bottom,” will be the most impacted.

White County as well as the city of Sparta have sent letters to Governor Bill Lee requesting the project not move forward.

In other business, the White County Commission will seek federal assistance to purchase three police vehicles for the sheriff’s office. Commissioners approved applying for a Community Facility Loan through USDA not exceeding $50,000.

Also approved Monday were updates to the county employee polices and procedures.


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