Description of Ecology along with Blackwater and Surrounding Area's
Ecology is described by several sources as the
scientific study of the interactions between organisms and how these organisms
interact with their environment. How does each organism relate with the
other elements that make up its environment? Well, the answer to that
question is found when studying an area's ecosystem. An
ecosystem is the total of interacting organisms and their non-living
environment in a certain area.
No matter their size, all ecosystems can be studied.
Take for example plant life growing on a rock might be considered an
ecosystem. If you study how this plant life interacts with the rock in
its environment then that study is ecology.
Just five miles down the road from the Blackwater
Post Office and soon-to-be new computer center lies a special place called
The Kyles Ford Preserve.
Kyles Ford Preserve
The Nature Conservancy has protected an 850 acre
property that is considered to be the most ecologically significant site in the
Upper Tennessee River Basin and is one of America's natural treasures.
Kyles Ford Preserve is described as the healthiest, most diverse mussel
shoal and the largest preserve managed by the Clinch Valley Program.
The Clinch River is home to 48 endangered and vulnerable species. These
include 29 varieties of rare mussels and 19 species of fish.
Kyles Ford Preserve is known for its position on the
Clinch River and these different types of aquatic life that live there.
The Kyles Ford mussel shoal is a shallow section of the river that
contains at least 35 mussel species, more than any other place on Earth.
Rare plants, birds, and mammals also live along the river's edge. The
Clinch River and surrounding territory is home to 27 species that are
federally protected and listed as threatened or endangered, and the new preserve
contains 10 of these species.
The issue of the health of the Kyles Ford Preserve
along with the Clinch River is being dealt with by using the property,
which had been a working farm, as a model to teach local farmers and landowners
ways in which farming and river conservation can be compatible. Some of
the health problems that threaten the river are erosion of the river's banks,
loss of trees and shrubs along the banks, and contamination of the water by
industrial and agricultural activities including bacterial input from cattle
wading in the river.
There are nearly 100 Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's)
and Refuges available to Tennessee hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.
These areas are available for hunting and public access along with other outdoor
The Wildlife Management Areas in Tennessee range in
size from 53 acres to 625,000 acres and provide more than 1,250,000
public access hunting. These WMA's are FULLY funded by
hunters and fisherman through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.
The hunters and fisherman of Tennessee are gracious enough to allow access to
many of these properties to the non-hunting public.
These WMA's are managed by the Tennessee Wildlife
Resources Agency (TWRA) and they are divided into four regions.
Starting with region 1 in west Tennessee and ending with region 4 in east
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