Info sourced from WBIR 10 News.

The THRIVE Region has done it again…????
Introducing The “Paint Rock River National Wildlife Refuge”
BIG Celebrations are in order!
To summarize, “the refuge will help protect threatened and endangered species like gray bats, Indiana bats, Tennessee cave salamanders and Alabama cave shrimp. The waters in the area are home to around 100 species of fish and around 50 kinds of freshwater mussels. Some of those species are not found anywhere else in the world.”


Photo from the US Department of the Interior

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will establish the Paint Rock River National Wildlife Refuge in September 2023 with the donation of 87.37 acres in Franklin County, Tennessee. The Paint Rock River National Wildlife Refuge was authorized for establishment in 2016, with up to 25,120 acres of land that could be obtained through fee title acquisitions or easements. The Service’s approach for this project is to delineate a “conservation partnership area” within which it will work with interested landowners and other conservation partners to help protect the aquatic resources and hardwood forests of the upper watershed.

The refuge lies in the Paint Rock River watershed of the Cumberland Plateau, a largely rural area that has a long history of agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing. The Paint Rock River watershed drains into the Tennessee River. Important habitat types in the conservation partnership area include upland hardwoods, in-stream habitats and cave and karst systems.”


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