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Contact: Todd Knoedler, 423-569-2404 ext 237
The National Park Service will be plugging 14 orphaned wells during the summer and fall of 2011 in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area through a cooperative agreement with Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Division of Water Pollution Control.As a result of this project, trails and roads associated with access to the wells may be closed temporarily.
Beginning June 20, 2011, access to a well located near Big Island will be closed Monday through Friday.The length of time the access will be closed will depend on weather and site conditions.A section of the Big Island Loop horse trail will be closed during this phase of the project.The closure will include the east and west sides of the river crossing at Big Island, and a section of the Big Island loop trail between the intersection with the Pilot Wines Loop trail and the Burke cabin.Horseback riders who would like to access the No Business area of the park will be able to do so from the Station Camp horse trail river crossing or from the horse trailheads on the west side of the river.Horseback riders who would like to access the Burke cabin will be able to do so from the section of the Big Island loop horse trail that runs along the east side of the river from Station Camp.
Additional temporary closures may occur throughout the summer and fall seasons.The National Park Service will post additional press releases for these closures and update the park's website.For further information, or if you have any questions about temporary trail closures related to the well plugging activities, please contact Todd Knoedler at (423) 569-2404, ext. 237.