Commercial Appeal – Guest Column: We deserve healthy forest, healthy zoo

From the article:

Over the past century, the greatest threat to the forest and open space of Overton Park has been the expansion of the Memphis Zoo. We have lost 50 of the park’s original 200 acres of forest. As recently as two years ago, the Memphis Zoo chose to clear-cut four acres of Overton Park’s old-growth forest, without public notice, to build the Teton Trek exhibit.

Citizens to Preserve Overton Park does not fault the Memphis Zoo for wanting to grow and improve. But its growth should not come at the expense of an irreplaceable 10,000-year-old forest ecosystem. We think our city deserves to have a healthy zoo and a healthy forest.

That is why we are asking the Memphis Zoo to join us in supporting the Old Forest State Natural Area bill (SB 2415 and HB 2563) that was recently introduced in the Tennessee legislature by two of Memphis’ Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Beverly Marrero and Rep. Jeanne Richardson.

If passed, the bill would legally protect the 150-acre old-growth forest of Overton Park from inappropriate development under the provisions of the Natural Areas Preservation Act of 1971.

This bill does not limit any of the public uses — such as walking, running, biking and bird-watching — that are currently allowed at Overton Park.


Update: See Also Memphis Flyer – Forest for the Trees

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