"This land is your land..." So goes the famous Woody Guthrie song. But at The Nature Conservancy, those words are more than a song or a slogan. We work to make them ring true every day.
In Tennessee, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 280,000 acres for people and nature. Most of that land is now public land—that is, state and national park land, state natural areas and wildlife management areas.
In Tennessee, The Nature Conservancy has created or expanded 29 State Natural Areas, 10 Wildlife Management Areas and 2 National Wildlife Refuges. All for your recreation and nature's protection. Here are just a few of them...
North Cumberland WMA and Frozen Head State Park
In 2007, The Nature Conservancy and the state of Tennessee partnered with two conservation-minded timber companies to protect more than 127,000 acres of forests, rivers and mountain coves on the northern Cumberland Plateau and connect to 66,000 acres of existing public lands. Known as "Connecting the Cumberlands," it was the largest conservation deal in Tennessee since the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1940. As a result, Frozen Head State Park and Natural Area was nearly doubled in size, and the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area was established. All of these areas are open to the public for a wide range of recreational activities, including hiking, camping, fishing and hunting.
The Walls of Jericho
Scientists have described this 21,000-acre site as one of the wildest places in America east of the Mississippi River. The majestic canyon and surrounding forests once served as the hunting grounds of Davy Crockett. Located on the Tennessee-Alabama border, this wilderness area was protected in 2004 by joint action of the Alabama and Tennessee Chapters of The Nature Conservancy. All 21,000 acres of the Walls of Jericho are now state park and natural areas lands, open to the public.
John Tully Wildlife WMA
In 2003, The Nature Conservancy purchased nearly 12,000 acres of bottomland forest along the Mississippi River in Lauderdale County. Today it is the John Tully Wildlife Management Area, a state preserve that is one of west Tennessee's most popular hunting spots. This public landholding also provides crucial habitat for migratory songbirds traveling along the Mississippi River flyway.
Radnor Lake State Natural Area
The Nature Conservancy has a long history with Radnor Lake. In early 1972, The Conservancy began meeting with Nashville community and government leaders to leverage a conservation deal to protect Radnor Lake from imminent development. The Conservancy also provided a loan of several hundred thousand dollars to the local citizens group known as Friends of Radnor Lake to enable the original land purchase for what became Tennessee's first State Natural Area in 1974. Since then, the Conservancy has purchased additional lands that have increased the size of Radnor Lake State Natural Area by nearly 25%.
Want to see some other special places we've saved for you? Visit our Tennessee Chapter Milestones.