September 9, 2000 

SOCM:  Citizen Hotline Set Up to Help Citizens Identify Bad Logging Practices

Starting September 1st 2000 the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has legal authority to order logging stopped if logging operations damage streams.  SOCM announced a special project to help citizens file complaints which can lead to "stop work" orders if water protection laws are violated.  The new law (Public Chapter 680) authorizes the TDEC to protect creeks, rivers and lakes from mud and silt runoff resulting from bad logging practices.  Damage caused by heavy equipment crossing streams or tree tops left in streams will also be grounds to order logging to be suspended.

   "Citizen complaints are the key to stopping bad logging as soon as it starts,"  said Brian Paddock, chair of the SOCM Forestry Committee. SOCM has set up toll free hotline at 877-437-7627 to take calls about logging damage.  "We have a short complaint form that we will fax or mail so complaints can be filed quickly.  Then TDEC should inspect the site and tell the logger what must be done to protect the water and comply with the law.  If the damage continues TDEC can order logging stopped until action is taken to avoid all mud run off and other damage to streams," said Mr. Paddock

Complaints may also be made using the TDEC form that is on the Internet At Citizens can e-mail

the form back or print a copy and mail it to TDEC. Complaints may also be called in toll-free to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation at 888-891-8332.

For more information:

Brian Paddock, chair SOCM Forestry Committee         931.268.2938

Don Clark, member SOCM Forestry Committee          931.277.5467

Marvin or Marg Ellis, SOCM president and member        423.562.9675  



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