SR135 clear-cut originated as communications tower project

For those who drive 135 north of Nashville everyday to go home, your view became a little more desolate within recent weeks. South of Bean Blossom, on the opposite side of 135 to the Overlook, the Brown County Parks and Recreation were logging some of their property to make room for a new radio communications tower. The communications tower is to be used by the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the Brown County Emergency Services.

The reason for the new communications tower, is that in several areas of the county due to topography, there are multiple dead-zones where Sheriff radios, EMS radios, and cell phones won’t work. This means in an emergency scenario, the responding agency has no way to communicate for assistance without leaving the scene.

It is said that the original contract between Brown County Parks and Rec allowed for the clearing of trees on top of the hill, to make way for the new tower. The contract with Crowder Hardwood Properties LLC, was for the removal of the trees, in exchange for $13,000.

In early February, a subcontractor for Crowder Hardwood, Patrick Logging began the clearing process.

In the vague contract agreed upon by both parties, no specific boundaries are mentioned as to the extent of the logging area. The only locations mentioned in the contract are defined by “pink flags” located around the site.

BC Parks and Rec Director Mark Shields commented that the logging was supposed to only be the first ridge, and on top of the hill for the tower. However, none of this was mentioned in the contract. Shields said the logging area of the ridge was explained via word of mouth between the loggers and Parks and Rec.

Once residents started commenting to the County Commissioners about the clearing, the contract was immediately terminated, and all equipment from the site has been removed.

Currently, the incident is still being investigated by the Commissioners and all possible routes of action are being explored. However, it has been declared by the Commissioners that the wrongly timbered land will be replanted with hardwood seedlings this spring. Although the trees won’t grow back immediately, the land will soon once again look green with the foliage.

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