More of the Duck could be designated a Scenic River

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

By Jessica Moore

Staff Writer

At their meeting on Jan. 16 board members of the Duck River Development Agency heard about the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Program Jane Polansky of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation gave the presentation. She explained the benefits of becoming a scenic river, which include enhanced preservation of a river, and its waters and bordering land. Polansky went on to explain why the Duck River would be perfect as a designated Scenic River. The Duck River is one of the most biodiverse rivers in the nation. Some of the criteria for becoming a Scenic River include geographic location, historic value, cultural value, and recreational value. As of this time, only a 37-mile stretch of the Duck River within Maury County has been designated a Tennessee Scenic River, as noted by the sign on Interstate 65 where it crosses the river north of Exit 37.

The Scenic Rivers Program was established in 1968. Since the act's passing, the General Assembly has designated sections of 13 rivers as State Scenic Rivers. According to the TDEC website, the Scenic Rivers Program tries to preserve valuable selected rivers, or sections thereof, in their free-flowing natural or scenic conditions, and to protect their water quality and adjacent lands. The program seeks to preserve within the scenic rivers system itself several different types and examples of river areas, including the mountain streams and deep gorges of east Tennessee, the pastoral rivers of middle Tennessee, and the swamp rivers of west Tennessee. State Scenic Rivers are managed according to the Rules for the Management of Tennessee Natural Resource Areas.

Finance Director Linda Carr reported the Duck River Agency received a satisfactory audit for financial year 2013, and presented income and trust fund statements for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013. First Farmers and Merchants Trust Officer Rick Mullen presented the trust fund report for the quarter.

The next meeting of the Duck River Development Agency will be held on April 24 at Henry Horton State Park.