June 2022: A Message from Our Director

We are pleased to share with you the continued progress we are making in supporting our core mission: protecting and enhancing the Wolf River and its watershed as a sustainable resource. As most of you know, our primary activity in support of this mission is land conservation. The Wolf River Conservancy has protected a cumulative total approaching 19,000 acres in the Wolf River watershed since our founding, 4,100 of them within the past 10 years.

Strictly from a real estate valuation perspective, lands that the Conservancy has protected represent $28,500,000 worth of land! The vast majority of protected acreage in the Wolf River watershed is public land. Wolf River public land in Fayette County alone accounts for over $5.3 million in economic value added to the state of Tennessee. Financial investment in protecting land is an ongoing and increasing need, as the cost of land is rising. We rely on both our strategic conservation plan and the support of donors like you to help us protect the Wolf River and the wetlands which recharge our drinking water aquifer.

Straightforward dollars and cents call many volunteers and donors to action. Common sense and compassion for future generations also calls people to act. Lands that we protect, mostly wetlands in the Wolf River floodplain, help to provide ecological, social, and economic benefits right now and into the future, including:

 - Improved water quality: Wetlands can intercept runoff from surfaces prior to reaching open water and remove pollutants through physical, chemical, and biological processes. Therefore, wetlands provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional wastewater and stormwater treatment options.

 - Erosion control: Riparian wetlands, salt marshes, and marshes located at the margin of lakes protect shorelines and streambanks from erosion. The roots of wetland plants hold soil in place and can reduce velocity of stream or river currents.

 - Flood abatement: Wetlands can play an important role in flood abatement, soaking up and storing floodwater. A wetland can typically store 3-acre feet of water.

 - Habitat enhancement: Wetlands can enhance habitat for game and non-game species.Wetlands also provide habitat for threatened and endangered species. Wetlands make up an estimated 5 percent of the land area of the lower 48 states, yet more than one-third of threatened and endangered species live only in wetlands.

 - Water supply: Wetlands can positively impact water supply, serving as reservoirs for the watershed and releasing retained water into surface water and ground water.

 - Recreation: Wetlands can become a destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, bird watching, photography, and hunting.

 - Education: Wetlands protection activities provide meaningful opportunities to educate the public regarding wetlands science, wetlands protection, and the value of water resources.

 - Aesthetic appeal: Wetlands provide a certain visual value and are often incorporated as features within landscape design.

 - Cooperative partnerships: Wetlands protection can allow communities, individuals, businesses, organizations, and others to build partnerships through protection.

All these benefits are the very reasons the Wolf River Conservancy Board of Directors and Staff remain committed to advancing our land conservation mission - work which is made possible by the support of donors like you. We need your help to protect the most important lands in the Wolf River watershed, and we thank you all for your continued support.

Keith Cole

Executive Director

Posted by Cathy Justis at 3:34 PM