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State Departments Partner for Cedars of Lebanon Management

Thursday, June 27, 2019 | 12:22pm

NASHVILLE – To promote responsible land management for more efficient use of state resources, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) is transferring jurisdiction of a portion of the Cedars of Lebanon complex to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

The Cedars of Lebanon complex includes the Cedars of Lebanon State Forest with three state natural areas and Cedars of Lebanon State Park. The complex totals approximately 9,424 acres entirely within Wilson County.

“The strong partnership between TDA and TDEC continues to benefit our woodland areas and those who appreciate them,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “This transfer of property comes after extended conversations, research, and planning for what would be best for both the complex and community.”

Jurisdiction of all TDA properties west of Highway 231, excluding existing TDA office and maintenance facilities, will be transferred from TDA to TDEC under direct management of Cedars of Lebanon State Park. Much of this section of the current state forest is designated a state natural area and has been recognized as a national natural landmark. This property has minimal suitability for state forest management activities but contains a number of rare plants and animals and unique thin-soiled cedar glade habitat. The transfer will enhance low-impact recreation opportunities compatible with state park and natural areas rules, allow for additional cultural interpretation, and promote increased ecological management that supports cedar glade and grassland habitats. Approximately 2,690 acres are being transferred.

“This agreement will benefit Cedars of Lebanon, putting the management attributes of both the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Conservation to best use,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “We look forward to protecting this land so the public can enjoy it for years to come.”

All property currently managed by TDA that is east of Cedars of Lebanon State Park and Highway 231 will remain under TDA management.

As the only state forest within the Central Basin physiographic province, the Cedars of Lebanon State Forest serves Tennesseans as a working state forest and demonstration site for locally-relevant forest management activities. The Cedars of Lebanon State Park provides a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including nine cabins and 117 campsites equipped with picnic tables, grills, and electric and water hookups. There are an additional 30 tent and pop-up campsites available. For more information about the Cedars of Lebanon State Forest, visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/state-forests/cedars-of-lebanon.html. For more information about the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, visit www.tnstateparks.com/parks/cedars-of-lebanon.