Defying logic, Tennessee style

Cumberland Trail at Frozen Head State ParkA judge 75 miles or so down the road from where I live did something I just can’t understand.

A Hamilton County chancellor on Wednesday ordered rock miners not to use mechanized or motorized machines to extract mountain stone from the Cumberland Trail State Park within 50 feet of the Cumberland Trail.

Want to rip out the rock with heavy machinery more than fifty feet away? No problem.

Want to rape the land right up to 25 feet from the trail? “Sure, go ahead,” the judge said. “Just do it by hand.”

Harvesters may not extract rock “by any means” within 25 feet of the nearest edge of the hiking trail, and they may not use any mechanized or motorized machinery to harvest rock between 25 and 50 feet from the nearest edge of the hiking trail.

That was big of him.

Now keep in mind, this is on state-owned land. But in a lot of cases, Tennessee bought land to preserve it but didn’t buy the mineral rights to it. A smart deal, hunh?

And thanks to Tennessee’s screwy mineral rights laws, it’s not clear if the rock miners can even remove the rock at all.

When it is completed, the Cumberland Trail will be one of the prime long distance hiking trails of the Southeast, stretching 300 miles from Chattanooga to Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.

That is, it will be if we don’t stop idiots from destroying it first.

I’ll let you decide who is the bigger idiot in this mess.

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One Response to Defying logic, Tennessee style

  1. Nice site! Things are coming to a head on the rock mining issue. Hopefully we’ll soon have this activity regulated. Checkout the action alert at the link below;

    http://americanhiking.chattablogs.com/archives/064527.html

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