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The Cornerstone Property: Expanding the Legacy of Wolf River's Ghost Section

Sweeping  views along the river are now protected in the Ghost River State Natural Area. The Bateman Road boat access is in the right (west) of the photo with the Wolf River upstream to the left (east).

The Wolf River Conservancy, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) have again partnered to expand the protected habitat on the fabled Ghost River section of the Wolf River.

Known as the Cornerstone Property, the newest 58-acre addition to the Ghost River State Natural Area is more than just scenic.  A rare and beautiful plant, the Bouquet Mud Plantain, found in only a few areas of Tennessee, calls this property home.  Open herbaceous wetlands along the Wolf River offer long-distance river views and unique habitat.  At high water, numerous Wolf River channels flow steady, creating scattered islands.  The Cornerstone Property slopes uphill out of the floodplain along Bateman Road to King Drive, providing sweeping views that were threatened by development.  These views are now preserved and could be enhanced through natural plantings to increase wildlife habitat.

Numerous Wolf River channels create islands separated by deep fast flows after heavy rains.

The protection of the Cornerstone property continues a partnership between Wolf River Conservancy, TDEC, and TWRA, to grow the State Natural Area by over 86 acres in the last year.  These strategic purchases have safeguarded against unnecessary timbering and subsequent development that would have damaged habitat and scenic values.  Now part of the State Natural Area, the highly diverse wetlands will continue to recharge the Memphis Sand Aquifer and provide undeveloped areas for river otters and other precious wildlife to prosper.  Adjacent uplands are preserved for habitat diversity and to act as a wildlife refuge during Wolf River floods.

From a paddler’s perspective, this final stretch is amazingly scenic and challenges their skills, as slow-moving waters from Spirit Lake are forced through a narrow channel.  These fast-flowing waters signal to the paddler that less than a mile remains in the trip.  The final flows of this river section now have State Natural Area status, and will therefore garner no more threats from development or degradation.  This area is one of Tennessee’s treasures.  Now, as part of the Ghost River State Natural Area, adults and children, as well as native plants and wildlife, can utilize it unaltered for generations to come.

To see more of this property, dip your boats in the water at Bateman Road southeast of Moscow, TN or simply watch this video:  https://vimeo.com/364881481

  Bouquet Mud Plantain (Heteranthera multiflora)

 

Posted by Cathy Justis at 1:22 PM