Fate of Farmland and Forest in Rural Tennessee
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Dunlap, TN is located in the Sequatchie Valley (Figure 1), and mining, timbering, and farming once sustained its economy. Currently, the townspeople actively recruit industry to boost employment and revenue. Recently, the Natural Resource Defense Council labeled this area as a BioGem, a designation given to important conservation areas that are threatened by multiple factors. In addition, recent US Forest Service (Figure 2) and American Farmland Trust (Figure 3) studies have shown high land conversion rates for the area surrounding Dunlap. In fact, Tennessee has the eighth highest rate of farmland conversion to commercial and residential uses in the nation. Our case study examined the current and projected land use change in this area and the key contributing factors to this conversion.
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