TWRA Official: 'There's a lot of misinformation floating around'
AETNA MOUNTAIN, MARION COUNTY (WRCB) -- Aetna Mountain is an off-roader's playground. ATV owners spend countless hours riding the property owned by the TWRA. They say they've been allowed to do so for years; but now, riders say the TWRA may be putting on the brakes.
"This is what we are, this is what we do when we're not working. We don't want to lose what we've had forever," says Christie Perkins, owner of the 80 acres of land that lead to the portion of Aetna Mountain in question.
The 1,200 acres TWRA owns is known as Cummings Cove Wildlife Management Area.
For as long as she can remember, Cummings Cove has been open to the public. But now she says they've caught wind the TWRA plans to close it off to all ATV's and off-roaders, upsetting news for her 500 member "We Rock Off Road Club."
"It was not known to the public until one of my members rode at Prentice Cooper, and a TWRA officer told him they are closing the TWRA land here," says Perkins.
Christie also says the TWRA officer in control of Marion County told her it would close as early as March 12, but didn't say why.
TWRA wasn't allowed to speak on the matter but did tell Channel 3, there's a lot of misinformation floating around.
They're working with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to study the area, and asking those die hard four wheelers to practice patience while this is resolved.
Christie says, "We keep it clean. When a tree falls down, we get out the chainsaws and we move it. We take care of that property out there."
Perkins also says to be a member of her club, you have to help with cleanup at least twice on not just their land, but TWRA's.
In the meantime, she's planning to meet with the head of the TWRA in Nashville in hopes of a compromise.
TWRA officials told Eyewitness News, a press release has been finished, but they're waiting on the board of directors to approve it.
The officials also said a lot of unanswered questions will be answered when it's released.