Blog/Lastest News
Mountain lion; puma prey on the staring twigs of the forest.

Cougars in Tennessee — fact or fiction?

Tom Sparks could tell something wasn’t right that day in 1920 high up on Spence Field in the Great Smoky Mountains. He had been herding sheep all his life, covering the range from Little Bald to the Hall Cabin, and he was keenly attuned to their behavior. For some reason they were fidgety and staying close together, lifting their heads up from the thick grass that covered the mountaintop bald to sniff the air more often than usual.

Five Simple Tips for Cool-Season Birding

There are some universal dos and don'ts when it comes to bird-watching, but birding in the fall and winter presents its own set of challenges. Here are five simple tips to help you get the most out of your time in the field.
Cades Cove at dawn by Susan Hay.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund: Is this the end?

Congress established the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in 1964 “to protect and enhance our nation’s incomparable array of natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities.” As America’s most essential federal conservation program, LWCF has protected our national and state parks, wildlife refuges and forests; forests and ranches; cultural resources and historic sites; urban parks, backcountry hunting and fishing access; essential water resources, iconic scenery, and a broad array of irreplaceable natural resources. It has done all of these things via funding generated by off-shore oil and gas royalties rather than general taxes.
Elk River trout photo by Jeremi Hough.

Tennessee's Top 20 Fishing Destinations

Tennessee is lined with countless streams and rivers that run into more than 1,000 lakes. The square mileage of water accounts for a little more than 2 percent of the state’s total surface area. And where there is water there are fish. Tennessee is home to an estimated 280 native fish species.
Hatchie River bottom in March, 2014. Photo by Mark Johnson.

Protecting the Hatchie Scenic River

Over the past ten years, economic development interests within the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) have conceived and begun to implement a plan to create a greenfield economic “megasite” between Brownsville, Tennessee and Memphis, Tennessee. As a point of clarification, a “greenfield megasite” is a tract consisting of at least 1,000 acres with water, sewer, highway, and rail access on previously undeveloped land.