Eastern Tennessee

Despite sharing a border with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, much of the wild forest in eastern Tennessee is still unprotected.

Eastern Tennessee a recreation destination. At Wilderness, we’re working to protect more of this magnificent forest so that visitors can continue to enjoy outstanding recreation and wildlife can continue to thrive.

Why Eastern Tennessee

The forests and wildlands in eastern Tennessee are among the wildest lands east of the Mississippi River. They provide recreation opportunities for millions of visitors each year and help support the local economies. They also help provide clean drinking water for local communities. Despite their incredible value, the eastern Tennessee forests are threatened by logging — and much of them remains unprotected.

Work We Are Doing

Our work in eastern Tennessee is focused on keeping the forests and wildlands of the region — like the Cherokee National Forest — as wild as they can be.

Our Partners

We can’t protect the forests of eastern Tennessee without help from local communities, businesses, decision makers and residents.

  • For this report, The Wilderness Society reviewed data from more than 16,000 parcels auctioned off by the state. The analysis details more than a century of land sales that have privatized and closed off an amount of once-accessible lands nearly the size of the entire Sawtooth National Forest. Parcels often end up in the hands of some of Idaho’s biggest industries, while others have been turned into gravel pits, strip malls and even exclusive private fishing retreats and lakeshore hideaways for those wealthy enough to buy them.

  • Sample Letter to IRA Adminstrator DOC

  • In this report, we provide the policy framework for designating ORV trails and areas on federal lands, along with a series of recommendations based on recent case law and ten case studies from the Forest Service, BLM, and National Park Service that demonstrate both agency failures to comply with the executive order minimization criteria and good planning practices that could be incorporated into a model for application of the criteria.