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Tennessee Celebrates Earth Day With Push for Wilderness Act

PHOTO: The Tennessee Wilderness Act would protect 20,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest and create the state's first new wilderness area since 1986. CREDIT: Aaron Headley
PHOTO: The Tennessee Wilderness Act would protect 20,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest and create the state's first new wilderness area since 1986. CREDIT: Aaron Headley
April 19, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This coming Monday will mark the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day, and a number of events are planned across Tennessee in the days ahead.

Among those who will be out and about for some of the festivities is Caara Fritz, a volunteer for Tennessee Wild.

"Really, for me, it's just getting out there and letting people know what their role is in protecting a slice of life that's so important to all of us and to our future," she says.

Earth Day events will be held this weekend in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and Madisonville. Next weekend, festivals will be held in Oak Ridge and Murfreesboro. More information is online at the Tennessee Wild website.

During the events, Fritz and others will be talking to folks about the need for passage of the Tennessee Wilderness Act. The act, says Fritz, would permanently protect 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest.

"I've been to all the different areas here in the Cherokee National Forest,” she says, “and it doesn't matter what time of year you go out, you always see something that you've really never been able to see before until you step into the wilderness areas."

The act would also create the state's first new wilderness area in more than a quarter-century, according to Jimmy Groton, president of Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning.

"We work hard to encourage people to get involved with the wilderness campaign,” he says, “to get educated about it and to go out and experience it."

In addition to the Earth Day events, every National Park in Tennessee and across the country will offer free admission next week.





tnwild.org

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TN