White County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson has drafted a letter to Governor Bill Lee requesting TWRA’s habitat project be stopped.
Robinson said the concern is the impact on tourism from the cutting project.
“People come to that area to hike it, walk, hunt it and that brings and that brings tourism revenue into our county,” Robinson said. “And you cut those trees down, that ruins the view and scenery for everyone.”
The County Commission approved the resolution requesting for the termination of the plan Monday night. In Robinson’s letter, he sites opposition from local hunters, the true intent of the land donation and the loss of property tax leverage.
“Sparta did the same thing,” Robinson said. “I’ve not got to read their letter. I’ll probably look at it and see what kind of wording they put in theirs. I’ve got mine written and ready to go, but I want to make sure we are on the same page because tourism tax dollars affects the city as well as the county.”
TWRA plans to change some 2,000 square feet of land into quail habitat at the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area. The project will be in three phases over some three to five years.
According to a TWRA presentation last week, surveying of the land begins in the new year with cutting expected to begin in April. A Tennessee Wildlife Federation review of TWRA’s proposal found the plan meets the requirements set forth in the gifting of the land.
“We just think this needs to be relooked at and reevaluated,” Robinson said.