Watauga History 2006-2018

Doe Creek
Clean Water Act (CWA)

Radford Quarries of Boone purchased a quarry on Doe Creek in Butler, TN and built a plant with the intent of producing asphalt yards away from one of the most pristine native trout fisheries in the Appalachians.  A small group of local citizens objected, sued and stopped Radford’s plan to produce asphalt through a CWA lawsuit settlement.

This “one for the good guys" win could not have happened without the dedication of attorneys Davis & Whitlock, TN Clean Water Network, TN Chapter Sierra Club, Upper Watauga Waterkeeper Donna Lisenby, and Watauga Watershed Alliance. Read about our Clean Water Win.  Locate front page article above the fold.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)

High Mountain Holsteins LLC planned to operate a dairy farm with 1500 heifers and milking cows on Dug Hill Road in Johnson County. Johnson County citizens openly opposed the introduction of a CAFO planning to install the biggest manure lagoons in the state. High Mountain Holsteins planned to utilize three waste ponds holding more than 11 million pounds of manure.

Johnson County Citizens for Clean Air and Water, Watauga Watershed Alliance, TN Chapter Sierra Club, and attorney Joe McCaleb joined efforts towards a CWA lawsuit, although thwarted in the court, delayed the CAFO plan until the corporation collapsed after one of the partners was indicted for murder. CAFO was defeated.

Doe Mountain
Doe Mountain Recreation Authority (DMRA)

The mission of the Doe Mountain Recreation Authority is to transform Doe Mountain into a safe, fun, family-oriented, multi-use outdoor recreational destination that promotes local economic development while conserving and protecting its beauty, woods, water and wildlife.

Watauga members (2018) currently serving on DMRA:

  • Executive Director, Tate Davis
  • Marketing & Business Outreach Chair, Dennis Shekinah
  • BOD, Executive Committee and Carbon Storage Lead, Gabby Lynch
  • BOD, Master Plan Committee, Dan Reese
  • Natural Resources Committee Chair, Gloria Griffith

Saved from commercial logging the 2012 TN Nature Conservancy acquisition of Doe Mountain conserved one of the largest remaining blocks of forest in private ownership in the Southern Blue Ridge region adding a link to the wildlife migration highway. The 8600 acre mountain forests and its environs harbor some 40 rare species of plants and animals as well as plentiful species such as deer, turkey and black bear.  The summit of Doe Mountain is approximately 3,800 feet above sea level. DMRA BOD approved a 40 year carbon storage credit project in 2017 (implemented in 2019) shielding Doe Mountain from logging for monetary gain. See Saving Doe Mountain.

Family Farms
Johnson County Farmers Market (JCFM)

Perhaps the most visible success Watauga has had in its community outreach program is the vision, establishment and support of a local farmer’s market. Started a decade ago with TN Chapter Sierra Club support as a humble roadside produce stand, initially supplied by Watauga Community Garden and  members’ home grown vegetable’s,  JCFM has become an established 501-c3 mainstay in Johnson County. Watauga continues to support JCFM as board members, webmaster, vendors, growers and customers. Read about the Farmers Market.   Locate article front page above the fold.

Lake Watauga Conservation Tour (LWCT)

Watauga Dam was completed in 1949 by TVA, creating a lake at 2000′ elevation. This earthen dam impounded Elk River, Roan Creek and Watauga River to create this 6,430 acre lake located in both Johnson and Carter County, TN.  Lake Watauga nestles between Big Laurel and Pond Mountain wilderness areas in the Cherokee National Forest. LWCT, annually since 2006, cross connects Public Land, Water and Air advocacy partners with Watauga members to enjoy, explore and engage to protect and conserve the jewel of our watershed. - Lake Watauga Conservation Tour.   Locate article on page eight.

Water Sentinels
Watauga Lake Cleanup (WLC)

In 2017, Watauga Lake Cleanup yielded (4 tons) 8060 pounds of shoreline and lake trash gathered into dumpsters at Fish Springs Marina in Carter County and Sink Mountain Boat Ramp in Johnson County by 52 volunteers within 8 hours. This annual clean sweep represents a seamless interplay of Tennessee Valley Authority and county governments and NGO partners like Our Community Gives Back, Watauga Sailing Club, Watauga Watershed Alliance and local business owners. Watauga Lake Cleanup.  Locate article on page eight.