I am swinging a pulaski deep into the ground, hoping to chip off a nice large chunk of soil. I am on Sampson Mountain on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 1986, doing trail maintenance in this magnificent wilderness.
Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker on Wednesday introduced legislation that would add almost 20,000 acres of wilderness to the Cherokee National Forest across six East Tennessee counties.
The Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2010 would expand the amount of federally designated wilderness in the national forest to about 86,000 acres. The forest currently contains about 66,000 acres of wilderness, designated by Congress a quarter-century ago.
My friends and I were recently approached at a market here in Washington by two girls no older than the age of 10. They asked us to sign a petition that would protect their local park from being purchased and converted into a multi-use development. I was so impressed by their fearlessness in approaching total strangers at such a young age that I did not initially realize the significance of their question.