Opinion: Saving Our Last Wild Places

Publication: Chattanooga Times Free Press

07/12/2011 - Congress may be fiercely divided along political lines at the moment, but its members should know that Tennesseans of all political stripes stand solidly behind legislation to expand wilderness areas by nearly 20,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest along Tennessee’s Appalachian Mountain eastern border.

East Tennesseans’ support for the additional wilderness areas in seven key locations of the 650,000-acre Cherokee National Forest is not a guess. It’s based on a balanced survey of public opinion by Tennessee Wild, which represents six Tennessee advocacy groups, and the environmental arm of the Pew Charitable Trust.

The survey showed that 90 percent of East Tennesseans, whether Republican, Democrat or independent, rated the preservation of the proposed new wilderness additions in the Cherokee as “extremely important.”

Read the full editorial, Saving Our Last Wild Places, on the Chattanooga Times Free Press' Web site.

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