Lost Cove addition to SCSP wins Governor's
2017 Environmental Stewardship Award
The new Lost Cove addition to the park, just south of Sewanee, has been honored by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation as one of the winners of the 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards. Lost Cove has added 4,061 acres of high-quality forest land and critical habitat to the public land areas in the South Cumberland region, of which nearly 3,900 acres have now become a part of South Cumberland State Park.
Lost Cove protects habitats critical for federally-listed endangered, threatened or federal candidate species, including the endangered Morefield’s Leather Flower and a population of Cumberland Rosinweed, a type of sunflower found only on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Vital habitat has been protected for more than one-third of all the federally-listed Painted Snake Coiled Forest Snails known to exist, as well as for two endangered animal species, the Eastern Small-Footed Bat and the Allegheny Woodrat. All of these species have been recorded on the property, along with Four-Toed Salamanders, Barking Tree Frogs, and Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat, which are all state-protected animals.
Lost Cove also now protects the Griffin Rock Shelter, presently the only excavated prehistoric rock art site in Tennessee. The Griffin site, estimated to be approximately 1,000 years old, includes four panels of elaborate and deeply incised petroglyphs, as well as artifacts used to carve the art and perform sacred activities.
Lost Cove, which was the honoree in the Natural Heritage category, was one of 11 initiatives from across the state recognized for exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect Tennessee's environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation.
A panel of 22 professionals representing agriculture, conservation, forestry, environment and academic professionals judged more than 89 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education. More information about the 2017 awards can be found here.