Cherokee Forest Restoration Plan
Read more about our work on a plan for restoring the Cherokee National Forest's North Zone.
Today Nissan and The Nature Conservancy’s Tennessee Chapter announced a new alliance to promote tree health in Tennessee’s communities and forests. Nissan is supporting The Nature Conservancy’s Tennessee Forest Health Program with a $50,000 grant.
The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 270,000 acres of land in Tennessee, much of it forested. Most often in the past The Nature Conservancy has bought land to protect it, with the vast majority of these forests now open to the public. Recently, The Nature Conservancy has expanded its work in Tennessee’s forests to include restoration of key forests and strategies to combat invasive insect pests that threaten forest health. Nissan’s funding will go toward this work.
“We live in an incredibly beautiful state that is still more than 50 percent forested and boasts the richest variety of plants and animals of any inland state,” said Gina Hancock, State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee. “We’re grateful to Nissan for joining with us in protecting Tennessee’s rich forests for people and nature.”
“Nissan takes a proactive stance toward addressing environmental challenges, as evidenced by our pursuit of zero-emission leadership through vehicles such as Nissan LEAF,” said Bill Krueger, vice chairman, Nissan Americas. “We’re proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy to address a current challenge threatening the health of trees in Tennessee, supporting an activity that aligns well with our Nissan Green Program environmental action plan.”
The Conservancy is restoring forests across Tennessee at multiple locations and scales. In east Tennessee, at the request of the U.S. Forest Service, the Conservancy is leading local stakeholders in determining restoration goals for the Cherokee National Forest’s North Zone to improve the forest’s health and resilience. Adjacent to the Cherokee National Forest in Johnson County, the Conservancy is restoring forests in Shady Valley to improve the ability of the land to buffer and diminish downstream flooding through restoration of floodplain wetlands and forests.
Counteracting invasive insect pests is another key feature of the Conservancy’s Forest Health Program. Non-native insects and diseases attack our forests, costing Americans more than $2.5 billion each year.
The Conservancy will be empowering communities across the state to identify and thwart outbreaks of forest pests, protecting neighborhood trees as well as reducing the spread of these pests into our forested lands. In one key initiative, the Conservancy leads the Tennessee Hemlock Conservation Partnership, a group of state and federal agencies that have joined forces to save hemlocks on 58,000 acres of public park lands on the Cumberland Plateau from the deadly hemlock woolly adelgid insect. The invasive insects can kill a hemlock tree in as little as three years, and they reproduce prolifically.
The Conservancy is also developing outreach materials and training for communities that are on the frontlines of the hemlock infestation. The Conservancy will be showing communities how to incorporate early pest detection and treatment into their tree-care programs. Going forward, the Conservancy will also be developing outreach to counteract other destructive forest pests.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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Nashville, TN 37212