Public Lands Transfer

Our public lands are part of the American identity—they sustain fish and wildlife, and provide outdoor recreation and clean air and water. Your national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands are under attack. During the past several years, a small group of legislators and land grabbers have been trying to hand your land over to private interests.

Although this issue has historically been contained to the Western United States, make no mistake, it is moving eastward. In fact, in 2015 a group of Tennessee legislators pledged their support for the transfer of public lands to state ownership. And we’ve seen again and again that when lands are transferred to states, they end up being sold into private hands.

The fight is HERE, in our own backyard.

Across the country, public lands supporters have joined the fight to protect and defend our American birthright.

Let your voice be heard on incredibly important issue by contacting your legislator and telling him or her that you want your public lands to remain just that—public!

More from the Federation about Public Lands

Elk Tower Tennessee
Fireflies in Cades Cove
Natchez Trace Garrison Creek

Tennessee’s Public Lands

  • 8 million acres of public lands in Tennessee. 10% of the state is conserved through public lands.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of acres of public land available to Tennessee’s hunters. They include Wildlife Management Areas, Public Hunting lands, Forest Service lands, National Wildlife Refuges, State Forest, and even some State parks.
  • 59% of Tennessee residents participate in outdoor recreation each year.

Economic Impacts

  • Outdoor recreation in Tennessee, which depends largely on public lands, generates:
    • $21.6 billion in consumer spending
    • 188,000 direct jobs and $6.5 billion in wages and salary
    • $535 million in state and local tax revenue
  • TVA waters alone generate $11.9 billion annually in economic impact.
  • According to the National Park Service, Tennessee is among the top 10 states for visitor spending in its parks.
  • Every $1 invested in state parks generates $37 in economic activity.
  • Even remote Tennessee counties see at least a $1 million tourism impact annually