Can the Upper Bald River Gorge Finally Be Protected?

first_imgIt’s Now or Never. By Pat ByingtonLast February, I traveled to Tennessee to see Bald River Falls, one of the most visited waterfalls in the region. Visually spectacular at over 80 feet high, Bald River Falls is the gateway to the Bald River Wilderness Area.It was a rainy and chilly 33 degrees, the bridges were freezing over, and to my surprise on that late February afternoon, the Tellico River, alongside the Bald River, was teeming with kayakers. Slowly passing by people in wetsuits, carrying their kayaks, I peered at the cars and license plates on the side of the road: Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, Texas, Colorado and Oregon. These people were serious whitewater enthusiasts and the reason they had chosen to be in rural Tennessee on a wet and bone-chilling weekend in the middle of winter was because of the Tellico River’s clean and clear rushing waters.It’s not just the kayakers who have discovered this outdoor paradise. Throughout the year, fly fishers, hunters, horseback riders, hikers, backpackers, and thousands of windshield tourists journey to Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. Along with year round recreational opportunities, outdoor related businesses from local sandwich shops to outdoor manufacturers (one of the largest maker of kayaks in the world is Jackson Kayaks in Sparta, Tenn.) are locating near protected lands and rivers in Tennesee. The outdoor recreation industry in Tennessee alone generates $8.2 billion in consumer spending each year and creates 83,000 jobs.An entrepreneur once told me that every successful business needs a “special sauce,” that extra “something” that separates a place, product or business apart from all the others.For Tennessee’s wilderness areas, clean and clear water is the ‘special sauce’.And the reason the surrounding streams, creeks and rivers are so clean and clear is because the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 1984 made it so.It was signed by President Ronald Reagan. Three decades later, Reagan would be proud of the bill he signed into law, but I imagine he would say today the job is not finished.Back in 1984, one of Reagan’s closest friends and allies in the South, Governor Lamar Alexander, was also a champion of the original Tennessee Wilderness Act. Today, Senators Alexander and Bob Corker have introduced a new Tennessee Wilderness Act three times in the past four years.Upon passage, this bill will permanently protect the headwaters of the Upper Bald River by designating one new wilderness area, The Upper Bald River Wilderness, and by adding additional acreage to five others in the Cherokee National Forest, assuring kayakers, fishermen, hunters, local businesses and future generations will forever have clean and clear water.This month, Congress will have its last chance to pass the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2013. If you care about the outdoors, if you care about the local economy, and if you care about clean and clear water, now more than ever, your member of Congress needs to hear from you. Tell them that you support the Tennessee Wilderness Act of 2013. Tell them that they should support Tennessee’s senators and finish the job.And then, read them President Reagan’s own words: “I just have to believe that with love for our natural heritage and a firm resolve to preserve it with wisdom and care, we can and will give the American land to our children, not impaired, but enhanced. And in doing this, we’ll honor the great and loving God who gave us this land in the first place.”–Pat Byington is the Executive Director of Wild South.last_img read more

EPA finds E coli , coliform in airplane water tests

first_img EPA announcement [News release] Flights in Virginia, Georgia, Texa, and California were tested in August and September. Repeat tests on 11 aircraft indicated eight planes still didn’t meet EPA’s water-quality standards. Sep 27, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – More than 12% of passenger aircraft contained Escherichia coli or coliform bacteria in a recent round of testing, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found. The Air Transport Association (ATA) said that about 90% of member aircraft could be traveling internationally and loading water from sources not subject to EPA standards. Drinking water aboard 158 randomly selected passenger planes was tested. While 87.4% of the planes met EPA drinking-water quality standards, 12.6% did not. Initial testing showed 20 planes had positive results for total coliform bacteria; two of them also tested positive for E coli. Both of those contaminants are indicators that the water could contain other disease-causing organisms. See alsocenter_img EPA had begun a review of rules and guidelines in 2002 but is speeding up the process in light of the aircraft test results, the agency announced. The agency is placing specific emphasis on preventive measures, adequate monitoring, and sound maintenance practices such as flushing and disinfection of aircraft water systems. EPA and ATA are collaborating to reach agreement on how airlines will bring drinking water up to acceptable standards, a news release said, but added that if they cannot agree, EPA will exercise its enforcement authorities. Passengers with compromised immune systems may want to request canned or bottled beverages, EPA suggested in a Sep 20 news release. EPA answers to frequently asked questions about airline water safety [FAQ]last_img read more

Tennis News Australian Open: Petra Kvitova completes brave journey after career threatening knife attack

first_imgKvitova won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014.Kvitova suffered a knife attack to her left hand which put career at risk.Kvitova will face Naomi Osaka for Australian Open title. “Yeah, it was a lot of work with the hand. It was lot of recovery, treatment,” she said. “I think that kind of the sports life helped me a lot with that. I just set up the mind that I really wanted to come back, and I just did everything. So. I was practising with the hand, like, two, three times per day, which I don’t know if a normal person will do that, but of course I needed the hand to be back on court. Not only on the court but to be able to kind of live a normal life. Those three months were very, very tough.”Feels great         Prosecutors in October said the man who attacked her was facing up to 12 years in prison. He didn’t know whose flat he was entering after pretending to be a technician checking boilers, according to police.              Kvitova, who slumped as low as 29th in the world in the aftermath, displayed her steely determination by winning a title in Birmingham in 2017 as she bounced back in the sport she loves. She followed it up with a tour-leading five WTA tournament wins last year to signal she was well and truly back, enjoying a nomination for player of the year.               Many didn’t believe she could do it, but a close-knit group around her always had faith and she paid tribute to them after beating American Danielle Collins 7-6 (7/2), 6-0 to make Saturday’s final at Melbourne Park against Japan’s Naomi Osaka.   “To be honest, I think not very many people believed that I could do that again, to stand on the court and play tennis and kind of play on this level,” she said. “It was just really a few of them, I think. I’m very happy to have those few around me, which is the best. And definitely it feels great. Hopefully for them (too), as well as for my family and for everybody who was there when I needed it. It’s been a long journey,” she added.   highlights Melbourne: Brave Petra Kvitova admitted Thursday it had been “a long journey” to make the Australian Open final after a knife-wielding burglar slashed her racquet hand in an attack that left her traumatised and scared to be alone. The 28-year-old feared she may never play tennis again after the 33-year-old man broke into her apartment in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov just weeks before the opening Grand Slam of 2017. She suffered career-threatening injuries to her left hand as she fought him off. Despite grim forecasts by doctors, who even warned she might lose her fingers, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion never gave up believing and miraculously returned to the sport in time for the 2017 French Open.         But she was still struggling mentally, admitting it took time to regain her confidence. “It wasn’t only physically but mentally very tough,” she said. “It took me really a while to believe (in the) people around me again, and especially the men, for sure. So, I wasn’t pretty confident to be alone somewhere.”                Getting her hand back into shape was also a gruelling challenge, involving extensive surgery and months of treatment. She still has nerve damage in her fingers and struggles to properly clench her fist. For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more