FRANKLIN COUNTY, TN (November 8, 2022)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the protection of more than 600 acres along the biologically rich Cumberland Plateau. The successful conservation effort, completed by TennGreen Land Conservancy and local property owner Robert D. McCaleb, secures a critical regional resource for forest carbon storage while expanding a growing wildlife corridor for sensitive and rare species.
The 620-acre “Custard Hollow” property is fully forested and home to ecologically important caves. It contains more than a half-mile of Custard Hollow Creek, designated as “significant” by the Tennessee Rivers Assessment Project, and is located within an extensive conservation corridor atop the Cumberland Plateau that includes Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area, Walls of Jericho State Natural Area, and South Cumberland State Park.
Support for the project came in large part from OSI’s Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund (ALPF). The ALPF supports land protection along the Appalachian Mountain range, an area that is home to the world’s largest broadleaf forest, stores most of the nation’s forest carbon, and provides an essential refuge for plants and animals at risk of habitat loss from climate change. The Fund is made possible thanks to major support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Lyndhurst Foundation, Riverview Foundation, Footprint Foundation, and the McKee family from Collegedale, Tennessee.