Save the Bridgestone- Firestone Centennial Wilderness!!
The 10,000 acre Bridgestone/Firestone Wilderness is one of the the finest remaining wild places in Tennessee. Located in White County County near Sparta, the Bridgestone area is a beautiful community in the Cumberland Plateau that includes scenic vistas, waterfalls, a diverse forest community, and the Caney Fork River, which includes spectacular Class IV and V rapids. The Virgin Falls State Natural Area is adjacent to wilderness, making this a very attractive site for outdoor recreation. However, Bridgestone is under threat due to plans by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to extensively log the forest.
- TWRA plans to reduce over 1000 acres of hardwoods to only two trees per acre (effectively a clear cut) at the Bridgestone Firestone Centennial Wilderness Area, ostensibly to create quail habitat, despite strong opposition from local hunters. This also threatens the wilderness values that were the key reason that the Bridgestone/Firestone Company donated the land to the state in the first place.
- The ecological and recreation losses to the forest will also be significant. The proposed logging will severely degrade Virgin Falls State Natural Area and Welch Point. It will also affect trails to the Polly’s Branch, Jenny’s Branch, Rodgers and Puncheon Camp Waterfalls, and several scenic overlooks.
- Several hundred acres of logging on pine plantations have taken place, with hundreds more proposed that would include interior hardwood forest. There is also some controversy about potential old growth forest remnants and some concerning press by the state old growth stands.
Map of the proposal.
A Look at TWRA's Quail Management Goals for Bridgestone
The central goal of the Bridgestone logging is to promote quail habitat in a "savannah" community. Learn more about open lands....
Old Growth Forests: Myth and Reality
Bridgestone has a few remnants of old growth forest, but TWRA is justifying the logging of recovering forest, claiming that their logging is to bring an end to "biological deserts". Let's look at the reality of what old growth is and why it is no "desert"...
The Trust: Living Up to the Bridgestone Covenant
In 2000, the Bridgestone/Firestone Corporation generously set up a covenant where the 16 square miles of Scott's Gulf, which it had owned since the 1960's, would be managed in perpetuity as a wilderness. This is under threat...
What You Can Do
Citizens can get involved through several ways to ensure that Bridgestone is protected for future generations....
Tennessee State Lands
Tennessee is blessed to have an array of public lands. However, some of our state forests face significant challenges...