Over 65 Native Plant Enthusiasts Meet At Reflection Riding Arboretum

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Over 65 native plant enthusiasts from across Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia will meet Thursday and Friday at Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center just outside Chattanooga.  This is the first joint meeting of the three state’s Plant Conservation Alliances (PCA).  Most of the meeting participants are members of their respective state’s PCA.  A plant conservation alliance is a network of private and public entities that agree to work together to leverage expertise and resources for a common goal to conserve the state’s native plants and their habitats.

 

Chattanooga is a worthy location for the first joint PCA meeting as it is close to the junction of the three state’s borders which happens to be within a hotspot for botanical diversity and significant natural communities. According to the Biota of North America Program (BONAP), this region has over 1,200 native vascular plant species including several endemic species.  This diversity is reflected in the number of documented plant species within the border counties of the three states.  For example the Alabama Plant Atlas notes that 1,140 species occur in Jackson County and according to the University of Tennessee Knoxville Herbarium Franklin and Marion counties each have over 1,120 native species, which represents approximately 47 percent of Tennessee’s native flora.  In Georgia, the Cumberland Plateau is the smallest ecoregion occupying portions of just three counties: Chattooga, Dade, and Walker. Nevertheless, this area is also known to support over 1,000 native vascular plant species.  Within this region there are also dozens of plant species of conservation concern.

 

The nationally-recognized Georgia PCA, established in 1995, has proven to be a highly successful model for rare plant conservation in the Southeast and beyond.  The Alabama PCA started in 2009 with assistance from the Georgia PCA.  In a similar approach the Tennessee PCA formed earlier in 2017 at a meeting held in Nashville at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden.  In close coordination with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which has lead responsibility for plant conservation in the state, the Tennessee alliance will prioritize native plant species and plant communities for conservation projects.  The alliance will be project driven and focus on preventing plant extinctions in the state. A coordinator will be hired in the near future to facilitate communication among members, including volunteers, and implementation of alliance activities.  The coordinator will be positioned within the Center of Excellence for Field Biology at Austin Peay State University.  The Tennessee PCA will be a statewide network of conservation professionals and specially trained volunteers actively working to conserve and restore Tennessee’s imperiled plant species and their habitats.  In addition to the meeting on Thursday the botanists will hike the slopes of Lookout Mountain on Friday to check on the status of the threatened large-flowered skullcap on Reflection Riding Arboretum and Chickamauga & Chattanooga Battlefield National Military Park lands.


Ted Wells: I Now Hold The Record For The Great Barracuda In Quintana Roo, Mexico

Me and my sometime fishing companion Michelle took a little time off last week to attend a wedding down near Cancun, Mexico, and, as I had about used up my welcome at the pool and had probably annoyed the staff at most of the other establishments at our resort, I decided to do a little bit of offshore fishing on the last full day, and kind of “get away.”  The cost was nearly ... (click for more)

TFWC Updated On Chronic Wasting Disease, Boating Statistics, Endangered Species, And Budget Process

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission heard updates on chronic wasting disease (CWD), Tennessee’s In Need of Management, Threatened, and Endangered Wildlife Listing, boating statistics, and budget process during its July meeting. The two-day session concluded Friday and was held at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Chuck Yoest, assistant ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Considering Property Tax Increase Of Just Under 10 Cents

Soddy Daisy officials are considering a property tax increase of just under 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.   A possible vote on the increase is set for the next meeting of the Soddy Daisy Commission on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.   The current tax rate is 1.3524, but the new certified rate after the recent reappraisal is 1.2559.   ... (click for more)

Police Find Large Cache Of Meth, $23,134 Cash On Hensley At Motel Near Hamilton Place; Police Say He Was Supplier To Rossville Man Who Died In June 29 Overdose

Chattanooga Police said they found Michael Wade Hensley with a large cache of meth, a loaded handgun and $23,134 cash after being summoned to a motel near Hamilton Place Mall last Wednesday. Police said they believe that Hensley, 41, was the supplier for a 36-year-old Rossville man who died of an overdose on June 29. Hensley is now facing federal charges of possession of meth ... (click for more)

Dr. Livesay Should Step Down From Bryan College Leadership - And Response (3)

I am writing in response to the July 25th article, "Online Petition Seeks Removal of Bryan College President, Board Chair".  As a graduate of Bryan College (1984), I am saddened by the response of Dr. Stephen Livesay and the Board of Trustees regarding the online petition.  The purpose of the petition really has little to do with the school’s “clarification” of its ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘No Sir -- It Stays Here’

To any of the millions who have served the United States on the field of combat, the most hallowed and prized distinction is our nation’s Medal of Honor. It is never given, it is always earned before it is ever awarded.  At least that’s the way it was up until a sun-splashed Wednesday three weeks ago in Vicenza, Italy. There is an Army base there that houses the 173 rd Airborne ... (click for more)