Friday, May 20, 2011

It's a beautiful day...

The Old Forest State Natural Area legislation passed the Tennessee House today, 94-0! Since it already passed the Senate (32-0), this means 126 acres of the Old Forest will become Tennessee's 82nd State Natural Area as soon as Governor Haslam signs the bill.

It's taken 16 months of hard work from many wonderful people to give our 10,000-year-old forest the legal protection that it deserves, but we're finally just about there. Please take a few minutes to thank Mayor AC Wharton, Councilman Jim Strickland, and your state legislators for believing in the Old Forest State Natural Area.

On the Senate side, this bill was sponsored by Senator Beverly Marrero and co-sponsored by Senators Mark Norris, Ophelia Ford, Brian Kelsey, Jim Kyle, Reginald Tate, and Tim Barnes.

On the House side, this bill was sponsored by Representative Jeanne Richardson and co-sponsored by Representatives Karen Camper, Barbara Cooper, Mike Kernell, Lois DeBerry, Larry Miller, John DeBerry, Antonio Parkinson, Curry Todd, Joe Towns, Jim Coley, Ron Lollar, Johnny Shaw, Johnnie Turner, Steve McManus, Gerald McCormick, Craig Fitzhugh, Michael Ray McDonald, and Mike Stewart.

THANK YOU to the many hundreds of citizens and dozens of civic groups who spoke out in support of our beautiful forest to make this happen. Because the Old Forest needs all the love we can give it, and more.