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Groundbreaking Friday For New Forestry Work Center

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Groundbreaking Friday For New Forestry Work Center

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Forestry Work Center in Livingston Friday.

The $4 million facility will be located in Standing Stone State Forest. It will serve as a headquarters for forest management operations, landowner assistance programs, and vendor services. The facility will also house wildland fire control operations for Overton and Clay County. State Forester Heather Slayton said this project has taken several years to put together.

“What you’re seeing now is probably just the tip of the iceberg about how much work has gone into it,” Slayton said. “So it does take a village to build these work centers, but again its open to the community. It serves the community. It’s going to be an efficient safe work place for our people so we can better meet our mission, but it is an investment that the taxpayers have allowed us to make into these rural areas.”

Standing Stone State Forest covers a total of 8,500 acres in Clay and Overton County. Slayton said the facility will have access to city water and the department is glad they will not have to rely on well water.

“It’s going to do a tremendous amount for our department,” Slayton said. “So obviously we are emergency first responders, wild and fire fighter responders, having access to clean water, to predictable water, adequate water is really important to us and so well water can be challenging at times, I actually live on well myself so I’m very familiar with it and just having that city water is going to be able to allow us to fill up our trucks, provide obviously safer drinking water for our personnel too. So having access to utilities is really important to us.”

Senator Ken Yager said the Forest Industry plays a major role in the State of Tennessee.

“Forestry is a very important part of our economy in this state,” Yager said. “And we need to do everything that we can do to work that industry as legislatures by making sure that you have the adequate resources to do what you need to do.”

Office space and training grounds will be included in the facility. The expected timeframe for construction completion is 18 months barring any supply chain issues.


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