Bredesen Announces Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Grant to Historic Rugby Inc.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 | 06:00pm

Nashville, Tenn. – Governor Phil Bredesen and the members of the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Board have announced a $425,500 grant to assist Historic Rugby Inc. with the purchase 186 acres from Bowater. The property is adjacent to the Big South Fork National Recreation Area. This is the ninth grant to be awarded by the Trust Fund since it was established in June 2005.

“The goal in establishing the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund was to create a mechanism for the state to work with other public and private partners for the conservation and protection of priority tracts, and the grant to Historic Rugby reflects that goal,” said Bredesen. “The Trust Fund Board has successfully worked to leverage funds for the protection of more than 15,000 acres in Tennessee to date, and the support of the General Assembly has been critical to that process. The budget I have presented to the General Assembly proposes another $10 million investment to the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund to continue its important work.”

Projects approved for grant awards must meet certain criteria before the funds are provided, including property surveys and appraisals, environmental assessments and enactment of mechanisms such as conservation easements to guarantee the permanent protection of the properties.

Acquisition of the 186-acre parcel will prevent development on the property and help protect the Big South Fork view shed. It will also provide: watershed protection for Clear Fork, which is a tributary to the Big South Fork River; protection and restoration of the native hardwood forest; an additional public access point to the Big South Fork National Recreation Area; and additional property needed for a loop hiking trail around Historic Rugby. As part of the grant agreement, Historic Rugby Inc. will donate an adjacent 230-acre tract to the State of Tennessee for protection.

“It’s far past time that our state government take seriously its responsibility to protect our vital and dwindling natural resource,” said Senator Tommy Kilby, Chair of the Senate Environment Committee. “What Governor Bredesen, the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Board, Historic Rugby and our local government officials have done to preserve this important area is a substantive step in that direction. I applaud them for their efforts.”

“I appreciate the hard work of Historic Rugby, as well as the Morgan County Commission and County Executive, on this project,” said Representative John Mark Windle.

The Heritage Conservation Trust Fund’s pre-application deadline is March 15, 2007 for the next grant funding cycle, with grants to be announced in June. Projects demonstrating a level of urgency for threatened lands may also be considered by the Trust Fund Board at any time. Pre-application instructions and forms and additional information is available online at:

Eligible projects range from the preservation of tracts for the purposes of tourism and recreation to projects focused on protecting or restoring the state’s physical, cultural, archaeological, historical and environmental resources.

For more information contact:

Dana Coleman
Office (615) 253-1916

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