Jan 19 2013

National wildlife refuge proposed for Franklin Co.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to create a new national wildlife refuge in Middle Tennessee.

The refuge would cover approximately 25,000 acres in Franklin County near Estill Fork, Hurricane Creek and Larkin Fork.

Dwight Cooley, who manages refuges in Alabama, said the tract is 1 of the most important in the southeast.

Living within it are at least 15 federally endangered or threatened species and a number of species considered endangered or threatened in Tennessee. Much of the land is forested and provides habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.

The agency hopes to have a draft plan for public review in April and have authorization for the refuge by fall.

Fish and Wildlife is taking comments on the proposal.

More information is available at fws.gov/southeast/paintrockriver.

Information from: WRCB-TV