FROM STAFF REPORTS

Tennesseans are being urged to show their support for Fall Creek Falls State

Park and to help save the park from environmental damage by attending a

public hearing June 18 in Crossville.

The hearing is being conducted by the Federal Office of Surface Mining

to receive comments from the public on a request that the park's watershed

be designated unsuitable for surface mining to protect the numerous streams

and waterfalls within the park from acid mine drainage.

A petition to declare the park's watershed as "lands unsuitable

for surface mining" was filed more than two years ago by members of

Save Our Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning,

setting in motion a review process by OSM personnel which included preparation

of an Environmental Impact Study.

SOCM and other supporters of Fall Creek Falls hope that a large turn-out

at the hearing, set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 18 at the Cumberland County

High School gymnasium, will help sway OSM officials from their preliminary

recommendation.

Said SOCM spokesman Landon Medley, "We can't afford to leave the

future of Tennessee's most popular park in the hands of people with a vested

interest, but that's what OSM proposes to do."

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