Integrating Habitat Protection Strategies into Community Land Use Practices

Project Description

The Southeast Watershed Forum is working with local city-county leaders, resource organizations and TWRA staff in three TN communities to integrate specific protection strategies in their comprehensive plans to preserve priority habitat identified in the TN State Wildlife Action Plan and shape growth away from natural resources that will provide long term economic & environmental benefits.

Project Map

Publicly Accessible: Yes
County: Blount County, TN; Morgan County, TN; Overton County, TN; Scott County, TN; White County, TN

Project Sites

  • Blount County, TN
  • Morgan County, TN
  • Overton County, TN
  • Site 5
  • White County, TN

Goals and Targets

Primary Motivations:

  • Conservation Mission

Primary Goals:

  • Create an interagency Memo of Understanding on Habitat Protection.
    Progress: The Memo, due to be signed in February, 2009, encourages the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority,and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with TWRA: 1. To integrate conservation of priority habitat identified in the Tennessee State Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy into their current and future program objectives, operational guidelines and procedures. 2. To make conservation of priority habitat an additional criteria for securing and/or implementing agency-funded grants. 3. To coordinate agency planning and mitigation efforts, when appropriate, on public and privately-developed lands with priority habitat. 4. To coordinate the issuance of permits, environmental assessments, or similar regulatory processes when development is proposed in areas of priority habitat. 5. To look for opportunities where state and federal funding resources could be joined to permanently conserve areas of prime habitat. 6. To consult on highway and utility projects that may have a direct impact on areas of designated priority habitat.
  • Create a series of maps integrating Tennessee SWAP priority habitat with other vital natural resources.
    Progress: State priority habitat was integrated into the Forum's online Community Resource Mapper (, the Forum partnered with Cumberland Region Tomorrow, to integrate their "greenprint" layers of resource data into the online Community Resource Mapper. The Forum has promoted the mapping service via its online newsletter to over 5000 contacts. The University of Tennessee also promoted the service through traditional Tennessee media outlets. There is a user-friendly set of online instructions for how to use the mapper.
  • Pilot quality growth efforts in five counties in Tennessee: four on the biologically unique Cumberland Plateau (Putnam, Cumberland, Morgan and Scott Counties), and one in Blount County, a developing area west of Knoxville on the way to Smokey Mountains National Park.
    Progress: This program ultimately worked with a total of seven counties. Thirty community representatives attended the Workshop for Putnam, Overton and White Counties. Evaluations of the program content were high, with 74% of attendees saying they would recommend the workshop to others, and 68% saying the workshop would increase their effectiveness. The discussion feedback facilitated by Forum staff on suggested conservation strategies that could work in Cumberland, Morgan and Scott Counties will be incorporated into the HCP development as the project progresses. The workshops in Blount County began in February and will continue into April.

Consistent With Plans:

  • State Wildlife Action Plan
  • Habitat Conservation Plan

Targeted Habitats:

  • Aquatic
    • Lakes and Ponds
    • Rivers and Streams
  • Forests and Woodlands
    • Mixed Hardwoods and Conifer
  • Human Habitats
  • Wetlands and Riparian Habitats
    • Forested or Shrub Wetlands and Swamps
    • Lowland Riparian Forests and Shrublands

Targeted Species:

No targeted species were identified for this project.

Conservation Actions

Action Status Start Year End Year
Education Completed 2008 2009


Is the success of this project's actions being monitored? Yes

Quick Facts

Owning Organization

Wildlife Conservation Society

Managing Organization

Southeast Watershed Forum
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Contact Information

Christine Olsenius (Executive Director)
Southeast Watershed Forum

General Information

Project #: 1763
Last Updated: January 17, 2011

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