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4000 acre land donation will link Smokies & Cherokee Forest

4:03 PM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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Thousands of acres of East Tennessee land will be preserved for future generations, thanks to a new agreement.

Brookfield Renewable Energy Group and The Nature Conservancy have joined forces to preserve nearly 4,000 acres of land connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cherokee National Forest.

On Friday, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander joined the groups at Calderwood Dam to praise the partnership.

"There is no more popular or magnificent section of the Great American Outdoors than the land adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest," Alexander said. "Any effort to find new ways to protect that land and make more of it available for outdoor recreation certainly will be welcomed by Tennesseans. Today's announcement means tens of thousands of Tennesseans and visitors will be able to continue to enjoy more hiking, hunting, fishing and boating."

According to the agreement with Brookfield, The Nature Conservancy will convey the property over the next two years to state and federal partners, adding to the 6,000 acres that previously became part of the Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest following the agreement in 2004 to relicense Alcoa's hydropower facilities.

Alexander continued, "Brookfield's generosity, and the efforts of The Nature Conservancy, will ensure that this land will be available for Tennesseans and others to enjoy now and in the future."

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