Project Contact Information:
Katherine Medlock
East Tennessee Program Director
(865) 546-5998 (Office)

The Nature Conservancy

625 Market St.
Suite 1201
Knoxville, TN 37902

Cherokee National Forest
Landscape Restoration Initiative

The CNFLRI Cherokee National Forest Recommendations Final Report along with all its appendixes has been uploaded here. A pilot implementation process is underway. For more information, visit the watershed team page.

The Cherokee National Forest (CNF) is home to an incredible array of natural, recreational, cultural and historic resources. Our purpose is to ensure that the Cherokee Landscape Restoration Initiative focuses on the long-term science-based ecological restoration and management of the native vegetation, rare communities, watersheds and aquatic systems, to maintain and improve the overall health of the CNF. A collective group of stakeholders came together to reach agreement on a science-based process for supporting the ecological restoration and adaptive management of the native vegetation, rare communities, watersheds and aquatic systems of the CNF.

The objectives for the Restoration Initiative in the Nothern portion of the Cherokee National Forest are to:

  • Define a common vision for the ecological restoration and management of the CNF.
  • Engage/Re-engage a diverse group of stakeholders interested in ecological restoration and management of the CNF including stakeholders from the local communities and other individuals or groups who are interested in participating in the process.
  • Provide a structured process designed to engage a diverse group of stakeholders.
  • Recommend a plan for the implementation of ecological restoration that includes specific measurable objectives and prescribes management actions that are consistent with the mission of the Forest Service.
  • Establish a system for monitoring and evaluating restoration activities to allow for adaptive management over time.

Working collaboratively with the Forest Service we identified and prioritized the needs for restoration, and design and initiated a robust public participation component to this process utilizing a variety of sources including national, regional, and local/community expertise. Results have been compiled and presented as a set of recommendations to the Cherokee National Forest, which can be considered for future management decisions. Click here for more information about the initiative. To learn about news, visit our news page. Click here for answers to frequently asked questions.