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[at-l] Help Tennessee Land Acquisition

ATC is seeking a $4-million appropriation for the USDA Forest Service (USFS) in the budget now before
Congress to acquire 2,230 acres that border the Appalachian Trail in the Cherokee National Forest
(CNF) in Tennessee near the North Carolina line.

Part of the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork tract, this
tract includes 1.2 miles of the Trail's footpath, with another two miles of the Trail close by. The
entire Rocky Fork property has been long sought by the Forest Service for inclusion in the Cherokee
Forest, because it is one of the last large undeveloped tracts of wild, forested mountain land left
in the southern Appalachians. It lies along the upper end of the Rocky Fork drainage in Greene and
Unicoi counties, about 30 miles southwest of Johnson City, Tenn.

The property contains scenic
high-elevation heath and grass balds, watershed lands, and remnant stands of old-growth forest, with
much of the land being above 4,000 feet. Because of this tract's size, it was not among the
high-priority lands included in the Appalachian Trail land-acquisition program, which began in 1968
and received its final round of funding in 1998. Although the USFS would like to acquire the entire
property, the agency now seeks to acquire only 2,230 acres, including the portions closest to the
Appalachian Trail.

If all of the $4 million came from the remaining A.T. appropriations, it would
liquidate nearly all of the agency's A.T. funds with another 40 tracts still to be purchased. So,
the agency is seeking a special line-item appropriation for fiscal-year 2002 to buy this part of the

 You Can Help protect this significant addition to the
Appalachian Trail buffer by contacting U.S. Representative William Jenkins and Senators Fred
Thompson and Bill Frist of Tennessee and ask that they request the $4 million for the Rocky Fork
tract be included in the FY 2002 appropriations bill through the Senate Appropriations subcommittee
on interior and related agencies. Send electronic mail to Rep. Jenkins through his website,
http://house.gov/jenkins; send electronic mail to Sen. Frist at senator_frist@frist.senate.gov and
to Sen. Thompson at senator_thompson@thompson.senate.gov.

Secondly, contact your own
senators with the same request. Postal- and electronic-contact information for all Members of
Congress is available at http://www.congress.org.

Here's a chance for the AT-list can help make a positive contribution to buffering the trail, now
that Wingfoot has unwisely abdicated any leadership he may have had in such matters.

Personal letters work best, but believe me emails are better than nothing.