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Tennessee Conservationist Magazine

July-August 2014

Feature Article: 
My Spot in the Woods

By Mary Priestley

Cindy Potter with students as they find their spot in the woods. Photo by Bob Hoagland.

Giving students the opportunity to learn to paint a picture using words is the one of the goals of "My Spot in the Woods," an outdoor classroom program of Cindy Potter’s students at St. Andrews-Sewanee, a high school on the South Cumberland Plateau.

Potter's pupils seek a special place in the woods and write their impressions of it and then their writings are shared. Mary Priestley, curator of the Sewanee Herbarium and an active Friends of South Cumberland State Park member, writes about this outdoor learning experience.

Smokey Bear turns 70 this year! Photo Courtesy of the Tennessee Division of Forestry.


Smokey Bear Turns 70!

By Robin Bible

Smokey, the iconic fire preventin' bear, has a significant anniversary this summer. In the article "Smokey Bear Turns 70!" author Robin Bible, a fire operations unit leader with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry in Nashville, recalls how Smokey, now 70, grew to become "one of the most effective characters ever used in a public service campaign."

Finding the Yonahlossee Salamander

A Yonahlossee Salamander. Photo by Josh Rudd.

By Josh Rudd

Bristol-based biology instructor Josh Rudd of King University went on a quest to find and study the Yonahlossee Salamander, a salamander that was first described in 1917. He writes about this in the article "Finding the Yonahlossee Salamander."

The salamander was named by E.R. Dunn who found it near Grandfather Mountain, N.C., in 1917, and named it for a mountain road nearby. The name "Yonahlossee" means "trail of the bear" in Cherokee. The salamander has a red back contrasting against a black background with grey to white blotches on its belly and can grow to be nearly nine inches in length, causing some to refer to it as "the Cadillac of salamanders." Rudd studies the genetic and evolutionary relationships between populations of organisms and was assisted by his wife, Dena, who has a knack for finding the elusive Yonahlossee.

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Also In This Issue

  • Nature of Nashville
  • Hummingbirds That Nest in Our Yards
  • Earn a Certificate in Native Plants

In The Next Issue

  • Fall Colors Weekend at Fall Creek Fall
  • Schoolyard Wetland Success
  • Ironweed and Joe-Pye Weed

About The Tennessee Conservationist

For more than seven decades, the award-winning Tennessee Conservationist has been dedicated to telling the stories of Tennessee’s natural, cultural and historical distinctiveness. In a cluttered media marketplace, this magazine continues to stand out by offering authentic Tennessee places, people and experiences through beautiful photography and engaging, informative articles. The magazine fulfills its purpose without receiving a state appropriation as it is totally funded through subscription revenue, non-commercial advertising for Tennessee State Parks and environmental programs plus gifts and donations from supporters. With continued strong support from our subscribers, we look forward to sharing more authentic Tennessee stories with you in the years to come.

Bob Martineau, Commissioner

Published Six Times A Year

TheTennessee Conservationist is dedicated to promoting the mission of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to preserve, protect and wisely use the state's natural and cultural resources.

Subscriptions are $15 for one year; $22 for two years; $30 for three years.

Mailing Address:
The Tennessee Conservationist
Department of Environment & Conservation
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 532-0060

Bill Haslam

Bob Martineau
TDEC Commissioner

Brock Hill
Parks and Conservation Deputy Commissioner

Shari Meghreblian
Environment and ConservationDeputy Commissioner

Louise Zepp

Jeff Law
Art Director/Designer