Yuchi RefugeBogles Chapel Road, Evensville, TN 37322
Property Type: Public
FLC has been fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with other organizations to purchase and protect important lands to support local and state conservation goals. One of these opportunities was the Smith Bend property in Rhea County, now known as Yuchi Refuge. The tract has three miles of waterfront along the Chickamauga Reservoir section of the Tennessee River, with 1,000 acres of seasonal wetlands and 1,500 acres of upland forest. Extensive grasslands also provide ample habitat for shrubland and grassland birds. You can view the latest sightings at the Yuchi Refuge birding “hotspot” on eBird.
The addition of the Smith Bend tract to the existing protected land encompassed by the nearby Hiwassee Refuge was a huge conservation win for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which was able to match funds contributed by FLC and other groups to purchase the tract. Yuchi Refuge was publicly dedicated on May 17th, 2001. The name “Yuchi” comes from the Yuchi/Euchee tribe that once inhabited much of the area. Yuchi Refuge is one of a string of management areas and refuges on the lake and is especially important in terms of supporting migratory waterfowl and Sandhill Cranes, which winter in the area.