Author Archive for: Mark.Johnson

Entries by Mark Johnson

Land & Water Conservation Fund stimulates improvements at historic T.O. Fuller State Park

David Gross never cared much for golf, anyway.

So there he was Friday morning, celebrating with another 75 or so people the unveiling of a greatly revamped T.O. Fuller State Park in Southwest Memphis. Nearly five years after the park lost its highly regarded golf course to budget cuts, state officials held a ribbon-cutting on a series of improvements that include an $800,000 interpretive center where the old pro shop used to be, a playground on the former site of the No. 9 green, upgraded tennis and basketball courts, a splash pad and other amenities.

The 70-year-old Gross, who lives just west of Whitehaven, said the renovations have made his favorite park even better.

“It’s much more accessible …,” he said. “You have more things to do that are on an up-to-date level.”

Crab Orchard Wind Farm — Are we considering ALL the costs?

The truth is that the impacts of wind farms are significant, and they are decidedly not positive for Tennessee’s environment and wildlife. If you look at the 23 wind turbines proposed for Cumberland County, each 600 feet tall – three times the height of Neyland Stadium, with blades as long as a foot ball field – and plainly visible from 1-40 and the surrounding area, you begin to understand the scope.

Happy 70th Birthday, TWF!

As of Feb. 12, 2016, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been serving as champion of our state’s great outdoors for an amazing 70 years.
It was on that date in 1946 that a group of 53 sportswriters, business leaders, and outdoorsmen gathered at the Read House in Chattanooga to put into place an organization that would forever change the landscape of conservation in Tennessee.
They created the Tennessee Conservation League (TCL), what we know today as the Tennessee Wildlife Federation.

After 30 years, now is the time for Tennessee’s Great Outdoors

The last time the state of Tennessee went through a process to determine the challenges and opportunities facing our state’s natural resources, I was a junior in high school and Ronald Reagan was President.

In 1985, President Reagan asked then Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander to chair the President’s Commission on “Americans Outdoors” and challenged the Commission to assess the status of our natural resources and the availability of outdoor recreational pursuits for the next generation of Americans and make recommendations to ensure the continued availability of such pursuits.

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.

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.

Junior Women’s Trap Success Continues with Roditis Bronze

(Courtesy USA Shooting) Trap success among USA junior women continued today in a big way when Ellie Roditis earned a bronze medal on day one of the 2015 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Championship in Lonato, Italy. Not bad for someone making her international debut; even better when you consider that she had […]