|Friday, June 01, 2012|
|Pot land becomes parkland through unprecedented deal|
By Tony Gonzalez|
SHORT MOUNTAIN — A remote Tennessee mountain where
drug dealers grew and hid mounds of marijuana for more than a decade
will soon become protected parkland.
1,000 acres on Short Mountain in Cannon County will be kept free of
development to instead remain wild and natural for hunters and hikers —
an unusual outcome for forfeited drug property.
this was no ordinary land. The gentle slopes and craggy ridges amazed
federal drug investigators who were in on the raid and led scientists to
discover species of crayfish, salamanders and beetles not found
anywhere else. And the water that runs off the mountain — the tallest
point in Middle Tennessee at 2,074 feet — flows down in every direction.
deal to conserve the drug land, signed recently after years of
negotiations, is one of just four such transfers in the nation in 15
years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. It’s also by far the
Tennessee, such an arrangement has no precedent. A huge win for
conservationists, who worked for years to convince government and police
agencies of its merit, the deal preserves some of the most beautiful
land in the state. Those who put it together say that made more sense
than selling it off to recoup all of the money poured into the drug
irreplaceable land, it’s irreplaceable habitat, it’s unique to
Tennessee,” said Neal Appelbaum, president of the Stones River Watershed
Association. “The idea that this would have been sold off and developed
never really made sense. But everybody had to come to the agreement
that this is the right thing to do. Lots of people could have had
reasons not to.”
Read the full story at Tennessean.com.
by Tony @
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