The individuals from various backgrounds shown in the three ads—students and staff from the Center for Religion and Environment at Sewanee, the owners of a bed and breakfast, and four county mayors—are among many who support efforts to protect their favorite wilderness areas in eastern Tennessee.
“When we enter the quiet of nature, we encounter creation in a special way,” said Robin Gottfried, executive director of the Center for Religion and Environment at Sewanee, the University of the South. “The solitude of wilderness far from human distractions helps us clear our minds, explore our faith, and listen to the small still voice deep within.”
“Our location in the Southern Appalachian Mountains near the Cherokee National Forest has put us on the map as a ‘go to' destination for the many recreation opportunities and scenic wonders that the forest provides,” said Dan Kauffman of Ducktown. He and his wife, Mardee, owners of the White House Bed and Breakfast, recognize the economic benefits of wilderness. “Protecting part of the Cherokee as wilderness will not only ensure that the activities that bring tourists here can continue on land unspoiled, but that future generations will seek out this special wild place for years to come,” he said.
Another ad features Mayors Dan Eldridge, Larry Potter, Leon Humphrey and Greg Lynch of Washington, Johnson, Carter and Unicoi counties, respectively, who highlight the benefits that the Cherokee brings to their communities. “Residents and visitors alike enjoy the Cherokee for its exceptional recreation opportunities and quiet solitude. The forest adds so much to the quality of our lives and ensures the vitality that keeps our counties going,” Mayor Lynch said.
“We are excited to show the public and our senators and congressmen how diverse the support for wilderness is here in Tennessee,” said Jeff Hunter, Tennessee Wild campaign coordinator.
The Common Ground ads will run in the next several weeks in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Johnson City Press and Knoxville News Sentinel.
Listen to Public News Service report on this campaign
Click on the images below to download PDFs of the ads.