|Blueside darter (Copyright 2015 by Conservation Fisheries)|
Conservation Fisheries deserves the support of everyone who cares about the biodiversity of our beautiful region. Visit their web site to make a donation and to learn more about their important work.
Tennessee has more species of native fishes than any other state except Georgia. In numerous other categories, including salamanders, plants, trees, mosses and various kinds of insects, this region is home to enormous biodiversity, much of it as yet undiscovered and undescribed by scientists.
Despite this, our state has a history of permitting industry to run roughshod through our beautiful woods, poisoning streams and rivers, and contributing to the poverty that has lain over this region like a cloud for more than a century. If you want to understand how absolute the power of money used to be in east Tennessee, I suggest you visit Ducktown. At one time the center of a thriving copper mining industry, Ducktown today preserves as a "living" museum, a portion of the land that was turned into a lunar landscape by the acid-rich effluvium from the smelters. The land was so raveaged that not a blade of grass would grow, and the rocks in some area streams still bear streaks of blue-green copper minerals dumped into the water.
I urge all concerned Tennesseans to find out where their state legislators stand on protecting our precious biological heritage.