Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

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Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby boreholio » Aug 6, 2010 11:19 pm

There is a window of opportunity now to help preserve a big chunk (6000+
acres) of Marion County, TN Cumberland Plateau and Escarpment in the
Fiery Gizzard Gorge and also in Hargiss Cove in Battle Creek.This
includes numerous caves and pits and a mile and half of the hiking
trail. The area will more than double the already protected parts of the
gorge which include Foster Falls.

There was a plan for a private development with houses along the
opposite rim from the trail but that has apparently gone by the wayside,
at least for the time being.

Check out the Land Trust for Tennessee website:

http://www.landtrusttn.org/fierygizzard.html

or search for: Land Trust of Tennessee. Please make a tax deductible donation
and spread the word as you can.

It is also on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery ... 995?v=wall

In the Stephen Alvarez aerial shot of the gorge on the website,
the water sinks in the gorge below the prominent bluff, Raven
Point. It immediately drops 100' or so below the creek bed
and doesn't resurge for miles. There is likely a lot of cave
between waiting to be found.

The trail is nationally known for it's outstanding scenery.There are numerous
waterfalls and the views from the bluffs are beautiful. It would be a shame
to have them marred with buildings.

Thanks,

Joel Buckner
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby batrotter » Aug 9, 2010 4:18 am

What type of calamity are you saving the gorge from? It seems as though "government" already owns too much land and can't even take care of what they are supposed to now. Maybe a lot of this type of property would be better in private hands. Look at the WNS results. The "government" which is actually publically owned property is forbidding we the "public" from entering. I don't think the "governement" needs to own any more property.
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby boogercaver71 » Aug 9, 2010 8:42 am

batrotter wrote:What type of calamity are you saving the gorge from? It seems as though "government" already owns too much land and can't even take care of what they are supposed to now. Maybe a lot of this type of property would be better in private hands. Look at the WNS results. The "government" which is actually publically owned property is forbidding we the "public" from entering. I don't think the "governement" needs to own any more property.



Amen to that :big grin:
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby boreholio » Aug 9, 2010 1:06 pm

It is to protect the viewshed and the land from a housing development plan. If you haven't already checked out the links I posted I encourage you to do so.There are also contacts there for more information.

I understand distrust of government but like most things, there are good and bad aspects. I think protecting this land would be a good one. I am also not against development per se but if it is not done carefully the result can be unsightly sprawl.

If you have ever hiked the Fiery Gizzard trail and looked across the gorge you see nothing but forest. That could change into cleared land with a row of houses.

The developer's plan was to parcel up the plateau into lots for houses. The "prime" lots are those along the rim with the view. A developer has already acquired a large tract of plateau abutting Fall Creek Falls State Park. It is divided into lots with a long row along the Dry Creek gorge (overlooking Rumbling Falls Cave) and Cane Creek gorge. A similar development is affecting Big Creek in South Cumberland State Park. The future is likely to see more and more of these types of development on the plateau.

You can drive north from Chattanooga below Walden Ridge and see an example of what this kind of development will look like. The ridge top is crammed with house after house along the rim for mile after mile. In the Rocky River gorge there was one house on the rim 10 years ago; now there are 8 or 9. At the overlook above Blue Spring Cave, new houses are appearing along the rim.

I don't begrudge anyone wanting a view, and I don't think it is realistic to be able to keep some development from occurring or that it is all necessarily bad. I just want to keep as much as possible undeveloped for our and future generations to enjoy. We certainly aren't going to be able to protect the majority of the land anyway so any opportunity should be taken if at all possible.

So I respect your opinion but IMO once these large tracts are developed it is highly unlikely there will ever be another opportunity to preserve them.

Joel Buckner
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby Larry E. Matthews » Aug 9, 2010 4:12 pm

Joel Buckner is right. This is an incredibly beautiful area, right now, that would be totally ruined if it was subdivided and filled with houses.

Right now, it is open for hiking, caving, and all types of outdoor activities. It would be a wonderful addition to the State Park system.

What few little areas like this that remain are being subdivided fast. There will be few opportunities in the future to save such beautiful widlerness areas.

You can kiss the caves good-bye, if it is subdivided. Similar prime cave areas that have been subdivided can no longer be visited. That is just the way it is. The homeowners will not let you go caving.

It is a common practice to FILL IN the cave entrances when this type of land is subdivided. The developer does not want ANY liability.

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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby graveleye » Aug 10, 2010 3:38 pm

As much as I hate seeing those houses up on the brow of Walden Ridge, and even along Lookout Mountain, I have to admit I would LOVE to live in one.
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby trogman » Aug 11, 2010 9:26 am

graveleye wrote:As much as I hate seeing those houses up on the brow of Walden Ridge, and even along Lookout Mountain, I have to admit I would LOVE to live in one.


I have the same thought every time I go to Little River Canyon-while I hate seeing those houses on the far rim of the canyon, I would love to be able to wake up to that view every morning. That being said, I would rather that the land was protected and kept in its natural state. LRC is a prime example of why these types of areas should be protected. When the feds first started looking at taking over the canyon, there was an outcry from some of the local residents. They distrusted the feds, and I can certainly understand why. However, since the National Park Service took charge of the canyon, they have done a good job and have made some positive changes. I only wish they could have purchased additional property on the other side. Now that the houses are built, there is little chance that they will ever do so. Like others have said, there is some concern that if the government is in charge, that they will close off access to the caves, just like they have in so many other areas. But I would rather see that happen, than to see this area developed into subdivisions. I seriously doubt that these cave closures will last more than a few years anyway; at least, that is my hope. But if the land is developed, it would most likely be off limits forever.

Trogman :helmet:
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby mgmills » Aug 15, 2010 4:07 pm

Larry E. Matthews wrote:Joel Buckner is right. This is an incredibly beautiful area, right now, that would be totally ruined if it was subdivided and filled with houses.

Right now, it is open for hiking, caving, and all types of outdoor activities. It would be a wonderful addition to the State Park system.

What few little areas like this that remain are being subdivided fast. There will be few opportunities in the future to save such beautiful widlerness areas.

You can kiss the caves good-bye, if it is subdivided. Similar prime cave areas that have been subdivided can no longer be visited. That is just the way it is. The homeowners will not let you go caving.

It is a common practice to FILL IN the cave entrances when this type of land is subdivided. The developer does not want ANY liability.

Larry E. Matthews
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The Sewanee Mountain Grotto at their meeting last night voted to make a donation to the Landtrust. I was unable to attend the meeting due to a family obligation but I got a report this morning that a donation of $500 was approved. Some members were reluctant to donate due to fear of "government" but since the trail is essentially in our backyard the grotto decided to approve the donation. The majority decided the conservation of the views from the trail were worthwhile project.
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby boreholio » Sep 16, 2010 9:32 pm

Success!

Here's a link to a story in today's Nashville Tennessean newspaper about the impending purchase.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100 ... +protected

Thanks to all who made donations. It's not to late to help though, about $ 650,000 still needs to be raised.

Again, the link for the Land Trust Fiery Gizzard is: http://www.landtrusttn.org/fierygizzard.html
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby boreholio » Mar 13, 2014 11:02 pm

Here's a link (from the TAG Caver) to an announcement about land easement acquisition in Big Fiery Gizzard Cove: http://news.tn.gov/node/11794
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Re: Please help save the Fiery Gizzard Gorge in Tennessee

Postby tncaver » Mar 14, 2014 9:15 am

Having read one of the articles linked, I see the land is an easement for perpetuity. The government doesn't actually own the land but it controls it. The land is still
private owned. But since it is "protected" now, does that mean caving will not be allowed or does it just mean there will be no development?

I would like to point out that most of the caves in the Fiery Gizzard are likely in the limestone that is hundreds of feet below the "view shed". Therefore it is highly
unlikely that any caves would be filled in or blocked off if the area had been developed. However, now that gov't controls the land the caves probably will be considered off limits, possibly for perpetuity. I hope not. Who can answer that question for us?
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