Water district manager, father and hunter -
Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee
In 2007, the Conservancy helped design
and broker a deal protecting 127,000 acres on the Cumberland
Plateau. This was made possible largely by funding from the federal
Forest Legacy Program. But the future of the program, and the land
deals it has long supported, are now in doubt.
If I don't, who will?
Native Tennessean Mike Monroe has lived
most of his life near Knoxville, Tennessee, along the Cumberland
Plateau. In his family, hunting is a way of life passed down from
grandfather to father to son for generations, but he is worried that
all of that may be changing.
“If we don't set aside big tracts
of land [for public use], people like me and my son won't have a
place to go and hunt. The days of large tracts available for [people
to use] – those days are gone."
One of the places where he
hunts now is in the process of being clear-cut and looks “like a
moonscape. We've got to find ways to work together. People who
aren't from here won't care. And you know what? People who are from
here won't care because we're all so wrapped up in our own lives we
don't have time to care. They should care, and they will when it
hits their community. I didn't care about any other program until it
hit my community.”
“I use my Outside Voice because if I don't,
who will? Someone has to speak for future generations or they won't
have [what they need.]”
I know that investing in conservation is the only way we can help keep
America beautiful, strong, prosperous and healthy. I am proud to join a
community of people who speak up for nature to help save the places we