Celebrate the wild ties that bind Americans on Public Lands Day 2022 — Saturday, Sept. 24
GATLINBURG — The director of the National Park Service is expected in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Saturday to celebrate National Public Lands Day.
Director Chuck Sams plans to make some remarks in appreciation for the volunteers who help backstop national park maintenance costs before citizens fan out for various tasks across the park. Sams is the first Native American to head the park service, and he will be joined by Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Chief Richard G. Sneed.
SELC, others file suit in hopes of dissuading TVA from future fossil options
This story was originally published by Tennessee Lookout.
CLARKSVILLE — On behalf of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club and Appalachian Voices, the Southern Environmental Law Center asked TVA to prepare a supplemental environmental statement to address concerns with TVA’s draft environmental impact statement, which details the agency’s plans to retire the Cumberland Fossil Plant.
The Cumberland Fossil Plant, about 22 miles southwest of Clarksville, is TVA’s largest coal-fired power station and was built between 1968 and 1973. TVA plans to retire each unit of the two-unit, coal-fired steam-generation plant separately: one unit no later than 2030, and the second unit no later than 2033. But the plant will need to be replaced, and TVA is currently considering three alternatives to fossil fuel, including natural gas and solar energy, according to its draft EIS.
- tennessee sierra club
- appalachian voices
- southern environmental law center
- tva clean energy
- tva fossil plant
- tva fossil fuel
- tva coal ash
- tva pollution
- tva lawsuit
- tva deis clarksville
- cumberland fossil plant retirement
- bull run
- bull run fossil plant
- epa tva
- scott brooks
- amanda garcia selc
- tva carbon
- inflation reduction act
- inflation reduction act clean energy
- climate change
- natural gas price increase
- methane emission
People are restoring native plants on their properties. You should, too.
‘There are a lot of messes out there and this is something that you can do right at home that has a positive effect.’
KNOXVILLE — If you want to help native wildlife and attract it to your yard, plant some native plants and kick back on your porch and watch them grow. That’s a good place to start.
That’s the message from Native Plant Rescue Squad founders Gerry Moll and Joy Grissom.
People walking by Moll’s garden in the Fourth and Gill neighborhood off Broadway just north of the city center will see tall plants; not hedges or other foreign plants, but various short trees and native flowers. It looks like an explosion of growth on both sides of the sidewalk, but it’s not chaos.
- plant native species
- plant conservation
- plant rescue
- replace your lawn
- native species knoxville
- ben pounds journalist
- native grass
- native plant rescue squad
- gerry moll
- make your yard wild
- attract wildlife to your yard
- joy grissom
- 4th and gill knoxville
- basic habitat needs of wildlife
- garden for wildlife
- national wildlife federation
Wildlife masterpieces mark an artistic autumnal fundraiser for the Tennessee Aquarium
CHATTANOOGA — While getting ready to tackle his next artistic masterpiece at the Tennessee Aquarium, Avior the red-ruffed lemur likes to take a few steps to center himself: languid naps in the sunshine, delicate nibbles of romaine lettuce, a resounding howl to focus his energy.
Only after these rituals are complete can this master of composition — a true “Lemur-nardo” da Vinci — begin putting paw and tail to canvas to create his next opus.
Avior’s latest triumph — made using non-toxic, animal-friendly tempura paint, naturally — is a 16-by-20-inch piece created in collaboration with his fellow lemurs and social media star Atlanta-based artist Andrea Nelson (TikTok video). Avior and Nelson’s masterwork is one of more than two dozen pieces of art made by aquarium animals now up for bid during the Tennessee Aquarium’s online fall fundraising auction. The auction will conclude at noon on Monday, Sept. 26.
Hunters are invited to go whole hog on the Tennessee side of Big South Fork
ONEIDA — Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area this week announced regulations for those wanting to kill invasive wild hogs during the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
Most hog populations within the protected areas of BSF are believed to be present on the Tennessee side of the park, which spans the Kentucky border. Feral hogs have been present in East Tennessee for generations. They destroy local flora and fauna mainly by rooting in low-lying mountain and valley areas. They are especially fond of salamanders, many species of which are in grave decline. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, hunters are regularly deployed to cull hogs throughout the park.
“The wild hog is an invasive exotic species that has a significant negative impact to native species and do a great deal of damage to farmlands and residential areas. The damage they cause threatens park resources including federally listed plants,” according to a release from the park service.
“Deer hunting season opens in Tennessee Sept. 24. During these big game seasons, wild hogs may be harvested with the appropriate weapon that is legal for that specific season and during an extended hog hunting season that lasts from the end of the deer season until the end of February.”
- Archery season: a hog hunter can hunt with a bow or crossbow.
- Muzzleloader season: you can hunt with a muzzleloader, crossbow or bow.
- Rifle season: you can hunt with a bow, crossbow, muzzleloader, rifle, shotgun or pistol.
- Extended hog season you can hunt hogs with anything as long as it is legal for harvesting a deer.
Hunters in search of wild hogs in the area are told to go to the Tennessee side of the park.
For more information on hog permits, contact Big South Fork NRRA at (423) 286-7275, or Obed WSR at (423) 346-6294.
Freshwater jellyfish: Here one year, gone the next.
KNOXVILLE — Paddling along the still water of Mead’s Quarry Lake you notice the air bubbles created by your oars. They are all around your canoe near the surface.
It’s a hot early September afternoon and the nearly transparent bubbles seem to take on a life of their own. You slow to watch and yes, they undulate, rising and falling in the pristine water of the abandoned marble quarry.
Air bubbles do not undulate!
Taking a clear plastic cup, you lean over the gunwale and scoop up one of the penny-sized bubbles to get a closer look.
Tentacles? Air bubbles do not have tentacles. What you are looking at is a freshwater jellyfish and the heat of late summer is its mating season. It’s a blossom of jellyfish as hundreds gather together near the water’s surface. They are commonly known as peach blossom jellyfish.
This story was provided by Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
GATLINBURG Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrating the success of a community science project led by nonprofit partner Discover Life in America (DLiA) called Smokies Most Wanted. The initiative encourages visitors to record life they find in the park through the iNaturalist nature app. DLiA and the park use these data points to map species range, track exotic species, and even discover new kinds of life in the park.
“iNaturalist usage in the Smokies has skyrocketed from just four users in 2011, to 3,800 in 2020, to now more than 7,100 users,” said Will Kuhn, DLIA’s director of science and research.
In August, the project reached a milestone, surpassing 100,000 records of insects, plants, fungi, and other Smokies life submitted through the app. Among them are 92 new species not previously seen in the park.
Is TVA trying to gag its critics?
This story was originally published by Tennessee Lookout.
KNOXVILLE — While the Tennessee Valley Authority, a utility company that provides power to millions in Tennessee and other states, allows for public input into decisions, the process isn’t simple or transparent, say some regular attendees.
Take, for instance, a recent public listening session: representatives of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club say they were told they could not record the session despite a spokesman for TVA saying the opposite.
According to TVA spokesperson Scott Brooks, attendees are always allowed to record public meetings, provided they don’t cause a disturbance, but minutes before the session, members of the Tennessee chapter of the Sierra Club were prohibited from doing so.
Knoxville celebrates sustainable technology startups from across the country
KNOXVILLE — Leaders of start-up green businesses specializing in services and products ranging from carbon reduction to cleaning products and piping wrapped up some warp-speed lessons Aug. 31.
At the conclusion of the three-month Spark CleanTech Accelerator the leaders of environmentally sustainable businesses from across the country took home some awards and got a strategic pep talk from Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon.
“I’m very committed to all things green and sustainable,” she said. “Orange and green are complementary colors." She spoke of making Knoxville a “clean tech hub,” not just for Tennessee but internationally. She envisioned “a cleaner Knoxville and a cleaner world.”
- spark clean tech acclerator
- University of Tennessee
- university of tennessee research park
- knoxville sustainability
- knoxville mayor sustainability
- indya kincannon
- ut research foundation
- tom rogers ut
- launch tennessee
- ben pounds journalist
- 3d printing knoxville
- green llama
Smokies researchers make a formal acquaintance with a familiar salamander
Great news from the Smokies via Instagram!
The “salamander capital of the world” just gained a new member! Meet our 31st species: the Cherokee black-bellied salamander, or Desmognathus gvnigeusgwotli. Its species name means “black belly” in the Cherokee language. Scientists used genetics to find out that it is different from the other black-bellied salamander in the park.
This salamander is common throughout the park and is known for its extremely dark belly and hunting along the banks of streams. If you see a large, dark-bodied salamander with a flattened tail resting on a river rock or poking its head out of a streamside hole, it’s likely the Cherokee black-bellied!
Remember to always appreciate salamanders and other wildlife from afar. Many of our salamanders breathe through their skin. The oils on our hands can stress them out, disrupt their breathing or even spread infections. Please help us keep our salamanders slimy and avoid picking them up!
— Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Last chance for comments in support of saving the country’s best remaining forests
On July 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of the Interior opened a public comment period following President Biden’s Executive Order to conserve mature and old-growth forests.
The deadline for comments is Tuesday, Aug. 30. Now is the time to protect our federally managed forests to safeguard our communities from the future impacts of climate change. Make your voice heard and submit a comment to the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
The mature and old-growth trees in our federally managed forests are one of this country’s greatest resources. These forests provide critical habitats for wildlife, prevent erosion and flooding, protect our drinking water, and are an essential climate solution.
United States forests cover about 290 million hectares of land and make up the fourth largest forest area of any country in the world. In 2019, the carbon sequestered in these forests offset approximately 12 percent of United States greenhouse gas emissions.
— Sierra Club
Dirt is far from just dirt. It’s a foundation for life.
This story was originally published by The Revelator.
Look down. You may not see the soil beneath your feet as teeming with life, but it is.
Better scientific tools are helping us understand that dirt isn’t just dirt. Life in the soil includes microbes like bacteria and fungi; invertebrates such as earthworms and nematodes; plant roots; and even mammals like gophers and badgers who spend part of their time below ground.
It’s commonly said that a quarter of all the planet’s biodiversity lives in the soil, but that’s likely a vast understatement. Many species that reside there, particularly microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and protists, aren’t yet known to science.
- the revelator
- soil type
- soil moisture
- why is soil important
- soil microbe
- soil microorganism
- nutrient cycling
- reading university
- climate change
- soil degradation
- plastic pollution
- genetically modified organism
- artificial fertilizer
- land use change
- convention on biodiversity
- soil biodiversity observation network
- global soil biodiversity initiative
- ecosystem research
- farm to fork strategy
- microbial transplants
- soil quality
- soil sealing
Climbers can clean their crags during Obed event
WARTBURG — The Obed Wild and Scenic River will host the park’s annual Adopt-a-Crag event on Saturday, Sept. 11 in cooperation with the East Tennessee Climbers Coalition.
Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of projects, including general trail maintenance and litter pickup. Participants should meet at the Lilly Pad Hopyard Brewery at 9 a.m. to register and receive a project assignment. Carpooling is suggested, and volunteers should bring their own lunch, water, hand tools and gloves.
When the work is done, volunteers are invited to spend the day climbing, kayaking or hiking. The ETCC plans a volunteer appreciation dinner that evening at the Lilly Pad.
For more information, contact the Obed Wild and Scenic River at (423) 346-6294.
Southeast Tennessee ridges and rivers will benefit from $10m infusion of federal natural resource fundingWritten by Casey Phillips
Targeted collaborative conservation will help local agricultural operations improve soil and water quality and protect aquatic life
CHATTANOOGA — Tennessee is as much a patchwork quilt of farms as it is an intricately woven lacework of streams and rivers. Soon, farmers and the aquatic life living alongside them will reap the benefits of $10 million in federal funds to support water-friendly agricultural improvements in the rolling uplands of the state’s southeastern corner.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the allocation of more than $197 million to support Regional Conservation Partnership Programs (RCPP) throughout the nation. These initiatives promote coordination between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and partnering organizations that are already engaged in conservation efforts.
Among USDA’s list of 41 approved projects this year is a five-year allocation of $10 million — $2 million per year — to fuel the “Ridges to Rivers” program, an RCPP focused on agricultural improvements in a six-county region spanning the Sequatchie River Valley and Walden Ridge. This federal funding matches $11.8 million already being invested in the region by more than a dozen local partnering organizations that applied to receive this funding.
- tennessee aquarium conservation institute
- tennessee aquarium
- tennessee department of environment and conservation
- farmland preservation
- land water preservation in se tennessee
- regional conservation partnership program
- ridge to river
- walden ridge
- sequatchie valley
- laurel dace
- natural resources conservation service
- chattanooga environment
- southeast tennessee environment
- tennessee endangered fish