Protecting a Biodiversity Hotspot in Tennessee

Northeastern Tennessee boasts beautiful, remote and ecologically important natural landscapes. It’s here we purchased over 14,700 acres of forests, gorges, cliffs, waterfalls and caves in 2017 and have been working with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to protect it since. Called Skinner Mountain Forest, this area provides critical habitat for animals and plants and upwards of 100 forestry-related jobs. Very few people know this area better than lifelong Tennessee resident and TWRA Biodiversity Coordinator Chris Simpson, who shares more about why protecting this “biological hotspot” is a highpoint in his nearly 30-year career.