Tull Bottom, WMA
The South Fork of the Forked Deer River System was outlined in the Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Plan (2005) developed by TDF, TDEC, and TWRA as an area of conservation interest. According to the plan, the bottomland hardwoods and wetlands in the system are some of the most bio-diverse in the state and contain more than 160 species. This new Wildlife Management Area is named Tull Bottom.
The South Fork of the Forked Deer, 411 acres in Chester County, contain more than 2,000 linear feet of the South Fork of the Forked Deer.
The River System supports populations of non-game species that are in-need-of-management such as Mississippi kite, Chickasaw darter, and alligator gar, state threatened species including the lark sparrow, and state endangered species including Bewick’s wren (Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2005).
The properties are upstream and within 3.8 river miles of Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park. Pinson Mounds is one of two state archeological parks in Tennessee and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the largest Middle Woodland Period mound complex in the southeast.
Our Conservation Story
With more than 4,000 linear feet of the Forked Deer River along the west side, the old meander scars from the historic river’s path, and scattered cypress throughout, this property is an ideal restoration project. Restoration of tributaries and wetlands in west Tennessee is important to enhancing life in Tennessee. Since channelization of the tributaries of the Mississippi River, the streams and adjacent wetlands in Tennessee have been significantly impaired. Although channelization was begun with good intentions, the plan was ill conceived. Instead of reducing periods of flooding, channelization disrupted the natural hydrology of streams and caused increased erosion and flooding. Unfortunately, the South Forked Deer River that runs along the property did not escape channelization. The channelization of this river likely resulted in lowered river integrity and quality. However, the bottomland hardwoods along the South Fork of the Forked Deer River are still considered some of the most biologically diverse in the State (TN Heritage Trust Fund, 2005).
Additionally, the property is 4.3 miles upstream from Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park (one of two state archeological parks in Tennessee and the largest middle Woodland period mound group in the United States). Restoring the Forked Deer along this property not only will enhance the wetland characteristics of the surrounding lands, but also may give Tennessee a view of how the Forked Deer looked when the Woodland Indians made their homes around 1-500 A.D. We hope to continue to acquire properties along the South Fork of the Forked Deer River toward Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park.
On September 28, 2012, we acquired this 300 acre property at auction at a cost of $170,500. To complete this project, we raised $15,345 from private individuals. The property is now owned by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and on its way to restoration.
Tull Bottom, WMA
Henderson, TN 38340