Project #29936.13179 -85.133228
Property Type: Forest Land, Working Farm
As a land conservancy, many facets are taken into consideration when determining what types of land we are able to conserve. Although we do not actually “rank” properties, if we did, working farms would be high on our list. Farms provide the food and fiber that is required to feed and clothe the nation, so some may consider these lands to be our bread-and-butter.
In addition to its status as a supplier of agricultural goods in Putnam and Overton Counties, this easement contains important habitat for the local flora and fauna. Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) were seen hunting waterfowl on the farm’s massive pond, and sandhill cranes (Antigone canadensis) flew over the property during one of our annual monitoring visits. In addition, the exposed sandstone outcrops provide suitable habitat for barrens species such as the endangered elf orpine (Diamorpha smallii).
Conserving this farm also protects almost one mile of viewsheds along a major roadway, ensuring that the rural scenery of the area remains intact. Because their topography is relatively flat, much of the land is already cleared, and their streams channelized, agricultural lands are prime targets for expanding development. However, these prime development areas are usually also Prime Farmland, (or Farmland of State or Local Importance) with soils that are well-suited for food production. Approximately 450 acres of this property are classified as Prime Farmland soils and will be able to remain in production.
One other major benefactor from conservation of this farm are the downstream Karst habitats. The limestone in much of East Tennessee is highly erodible leading to sinkholes, caves, and subterranean waterways which are habitat for organisms that have become highly evolved to take advantage of these niche habitats. As such, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has singled out these areas for extra protections to protect these unique organisms from extirpation.