The Erwin Record has learned that late Monday, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) officially acquired 2,036 acres in Unicoi County from The Conservation Fund for the development of the states 55th park.
The park's development was announced by Gov. Bill Haslam in October 2012. In total, approximately 9,640 acres have been protected at Rocky Fork since 2008. This final conveyance to the state assures that Rocky Fork will always be available for outdoor recreation and enjoyment.
With the help of Sen. Lamar Alexander, the U.S. Forest Service was able to acquire a significant component of Rocky Fork, approximately 7,600 acres, with Land and Water Conservation Funds over the last 4 years. All of this land is now part of the Cherokee National Forest.
According to a press release by The Conservation Fund, “local political leadership and community support have been critical to the success of the Rocky Fork project, and they are looking forward to the development of the state park, which will enhance economic development in the area.”