BARK CAMP BARRENS WMA

Connecting lands for people and wildlife in Middle Tennessee.

On behalf of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), TennGreen purchased 247 acres at Bark Camp Barrens Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Manchester, Tennessee. The purchase will expand these public lands to increase outdoor recreation activities and protect habitat for fish and wildlife. 

 

TWRA manages Bark Camp Barrens WMA as a mixture of mature oak-hickory forests with areas of warm season grasses. These grasses have many benefits including high drought and heat tolerance, erosion control, and disease resistance. Unlike other habitats, grasslands provide small wildlife and insects (i.e., butterflies) open space at ground level in which they can reproduce, grow, and move freely.

 

Bark Camp Barrens WMA is one of very few in the state where parts are specifically managed for grassland birds and, according to TWRA, it is one of the best places in Tennessee to spot the rare migrant and breeding bird: the Henslow’s Sparrow. This small and secretive grassland bird is said to sing most actively at dusk and dawn; however,  its song—which has been described as sounding like a hiccup—can sometimes be heard on a quiet night when the moon is very bright. Rather than fly, Henslow’s Sparrows often run away through the grass when threatened by predators, which is why grassland habitat in WMAs such as Bark Camp Barrens is crucial for their survival.

 

The recently purchased land will expand the WMA by connecting its two previously-separate grassland and mature oak-hickory forest sections. Primarily containing wetland hardwoods, this acquisition will protect forested habitat in the area, ensuring that we have a place to connect with nature and wildlife have a place to call home. 

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“This tract is part of an important wetland ecosystem in Middle Tennessee. While much of Bark Camp Barrens WMA has had its ownership divided over the years, this acquisition will provide an important link between its two biggest land components. Our partnership with TennGreen made it possible for TWRA to expand these lands and it will provide essential connectivity for wetland fauna.” 
 

—Tim Churchill, Chief of Federal Aid and Real Estate, TWRA