Chester County

Tull Bottom WMA

PROJECT PARTNERS Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust Fund

Between 2012 and 2017, TennGreen acquired nearly 500 acres in three acquisitions along the South Fork of the Forked Deer River near Henderson. These properties were transferred to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and created the Tull Bottom Wildlife Management Area.

In 2012, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) alerted TennGreen staff to the impending auction of approximately 300 acres in Chester County. This wetland property had been an area of interest to TWRA but the agency was not prepared to purchase the land at auction. TennGreen purchased the 300-acre property in September 2012 and transferred it to TWRA. In 2013, TennGreen acquired 115 acre across Highway 200 from the first acquisition and another 74 acres in 2017.

TWRA has continued to expand on these properties to create the Tull Bottom Wildlife Management Area. Due to the channelization of tributaries of the Mississippi River, many streams and wetlands in West Tennessee have been significantly harmed. Although channelization began with good intentions, the act ultimately disrupted the natural hydrology of streams and increased erosion and flooding. However, bottomland hardwoods along the South Fork of the Forked Deer River are still considered some of the most biologically-diverse in the State.

It is not too late to reverse the harmful effects on the rivers and streams through good stewardship of land and thoughtful protection of our waters. Conserving the Forked Deer along this property, and its eventual restoration by TWRA throughout the corridor, will enhance the wetland characteristics of the surrounding lands as well as conserve the water quality of the river.