Conservation Program

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TSRA was founded on September 15, 1966 to “preserve, protect and restore the scenic, free-flowing rivers of our State.”  

The founders listed five objectives:

  • To keep the most scenic of Tennessee rivers in a natural state.
  • To encourage action that would reverse river impairment.
  • To promote the quality of recreational use of rivers.
  • To cooperate with other river conservation groups.
  • To cooperate with government agencies in the protection of river environments.

One of the group’s first efforts was to help pass the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, which mandated state government protection of an initial ten rivers that were designated “scenic.”   These first ten rivers were: Blackburn Fork, Buffalo, Collins, Conasauga, French Broad, Harpeth, Hiwassee, Roaring River, Spring Creek and Tuckahoe Creek. Since 1968, TSRA has worked to have five additional rivers designated for “scenic” protection. They are the Clinch, Duck, Hatchie, Obed and Soak Creek.  Learn more about TN Scenic Rivers and their history here.

TSRA conservation successes over the years:


Funding provided by TSRA over the years:

  • Contributed over $30,000 to the Swan Conservation Trust to protect the head waters of the Big Swan Creek Watershed in Lewis County.
  • Contributed to Tennessee Parks and Greenways for Virgin Falls, head waters of the Sequatchie, and Happy Hollow near the Duck River in Hickman County. 
  • Contributed to the preservation project at Stillhouse Hollow Falls in Maury County.