Archive for category: General wildlife

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Cougars in Tennessee — fact or fiction?

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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.
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Does nature really matter in the 21st Century?

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It happens as we cruise through our 21st-century life, and it’s nobody’s fault in particular. It happens while we spend eight hours a day in our brick office buildings, five days a week, most of a year; as we're driving our air-conditioned vehicles down wide swaths of pavement flanked by stacks of apartment buildings and expanses of strip malls; while we're having our teeth cleaned in sterile dentist offices; and as we stroll through the aisles of Whole Foods or Publix, filling our carts with sustenance as easily as picking a flower. It happens as we hold glowing Xbox controllers in our hands, wiggling our thumbs to manipulate the movements of a digital human on our TV screen; while we recline in the plastic chair of a nail salon as another person paints our toenails; as we stare at a two-and-a-half hour movie about elves in a darkened, cinderblock theater; and as we sit at a conference room table with our co-workers, devoting 30 minutes of our lives to planning another such meeting.
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Elk Restoration in Tennessee, 2003

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Since the Tennessee Wildlife Federation teamed with the Tennessee…