Conserve forests along rivers to Forever Green Tennessee (opinion)

By Kathleen Williams

Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration has conserved wonderful new parks, but more investments are needed to Forever Green Tennessee!

Tennessee is known as the “greenest state in the Land of the Free,” to quote the old “Davy Crockett” show theme song.

Tennessee is green because we are water-rich. We have 60,000 miles of rivers and streams across our state, rich with rare life.

Unfortunately, almost half of all the tested rivers do not support their designated uses for fishing or swimming already.

The challenge is population growth. From 3.7 million in 1970, it’s 6.6 million today and is projected to be 9.3 million by 2050.

More people demand more water and more cleared land. As our population increases so will disease-causing pathogens, habitat alteration, sedimentation and nutrients in our rivers.

But there is a solution. Conserving forests along our rivers and headwater streams is the most important action we could take for WATER.

Read more at the Tennesseean