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Fall Creek Falls State Park to be Expanded

TennGreen Land Conservancy acquired 84 acres to expand the popular recreation destination for an additional time in recent months.

TennGreen Land Conservancy and the State of Tennessee announced the acquisition of an additional 84 acres of land adjacent to Fall Creek Falls State Park. In an area of high conservation interest, the land known as “Haston Point Gulf” has long been an acquisition target for the partners.

Haston Point Gulf is located one mile from the 838-acre Mullican tract,which TennGreen Land Conservancy and partners recently added to Fall Creek Falls State Park. Haston Point Gulf was initially slated for a public auction, but TennGreen Land Conservancy acquired it directly from the landowner, saving its remarkable geographic features at risk of reckless development or unsustainable forest harvesting.

The forested habitat of Haston Point Gulf provides important protection for waters flowing from Indian Camp Branch. Indian Camp Branch is identified as an “Exceptional Tennessee Water” due to its connectivity to Fall Creek Falls. From the top bluff edge to the flowing waters of Indian Camp Branch, Haston Point Gulf contains steep forested bluffs dropping from 1,700 feet to approximately 1,300 feet. Protection of these bluffs safeguards habitats for a variety of species and ensures that the waters flowing into Fall Creek Falls remain unpolluted.

”We’re grateful for our partners and members who provide funds allowing us to be nimble and save our at-risk lands,” said Alice Hudson Pell, Interim Executive Director of TennGreen Land Conservancy. “Without the support of our community, we wouldn’t have the ability or resources to jump into these once-in-a-lifetime conservation opportunities!”

Haston Point Gulf lies within the Middle Cumberland Plateau Conservation Opportunity Area, which identifies riparian buffer restoration and increased acres of critical habitat conserved as key changes needed. Additionally, the property is within a high conservation priority in the Southeast Conservation Blueprint, contains habitat identified as very high conservation priority according to the State Wildlife Action Plan, and lies within a climate resiliency corridor identified in TennGreen’s Strategic Land Conservation Plan.

TennGreen Land Conservancy expects to transfer Haston Point Gulf to State management next month. The acquisition of this land expands upon TennGreen Land Conservancy’s long partnership history in the region. Conservation projects nearby include recent acquisition assistance of the Hardie Tract at Dog Cove, the conservation of Virgin Falls State Natural Area in 2012, and the creation of another hiking entrance to Virgin Falls in 2018. Additionally, the Haston Point Gulf acquisition adds to more than 10,000 acres conserved by TennGreen Land Conservancy in White and Van Buren County.

“TennGreen Land Conservancy continues to be a valuable partner,” said David Salyers, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “This acquisition is the latest example of how our collaboration is helping protect and conserve natural resources in our state.”

More about the project can be found at tenngreen.org.



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.