People Columns

This Week in History

Saturday, August 11 | | |
TVA will seed and fertilize by helicopter about 60 eroded acres of the Copper Basin area in northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee later this month to test grass and legume growth on the barren soil. If successful, it could spark a larger reclamation effort in the area. The aerial seeding is scheduled for August 27-28. It is part of a cooperative effort with the Fannin County Board of Education, Georgia Soil Conservation Service, the Limestone Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, the Tennessee Chemical Company, and other landowners. Two and a half tons of grass seed and legumes and 20 tons of fertilizer will be distributed from a TVA helicopter across 40 acres in Fannin County, Georgia and about 20 acres in Polk County, Tennessee. “This is a test to see how well these grasses grow in the basin,” said Roger Bollinger, manager of TVA’s Land Reclamation Program. “If the seeding is successful, the project may be expanded.” Another 80 acres will be treated next spring to determine which season produces the best growth results, Bollinger said. Later on, the Soil Conservation Service plans to overplant the areas with selected trees and wildlife shrubs. These efforts are expected to do much to control erosion, improve water quality, and restore productive uses of the land. About 32,000 acres in the Copper Basin were severely damaged in the late 1800s because of unrefined smelting operations at local copper mines. Open pit fires, fueled by timber harvested from surrounding hillsides, were used to separate copper from ore. “Raw sulfer-laden smoke in the atmosphere gradually began to sterilize the soil so nothing could grow,” Bollinger said. Without trees and other vegetation the topsoil eroded, leaving behind 50 square miles of “lunar-like” hills and valleys. New smelting processes have helped improve the air quality, but the reversal of soil damage is a much longer process. Although millions of pine seedlings have been planted, 8,600 acres remain barren and erosion still plagues the area. “We want to see how effectively we can reestablish a ground cover with the seeding and fertilizing,” Bollinger said. “Ultimately we would like to see the whole area reclaimed.”
Good Eats!

May and June Restaurant Report

Tuesday, June 26 | | |
The Bradley County Health Department inspects restaurants and grades the businesses on a 100-point scale, with scores below 70 requiring corrective action. Restaurants are reinspected if they fail to meet critical standards.

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