Arnold AFB Natural Resources harvesting comes with some guidelines
By Raquel March, AEDC/PA
/ Published June 30, 2017
ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. --
When local residents or transient visitors pass through the Arnold Air Force Base Natural Resources area, they may have an intent to pick blackberries or gather firewood.
Before any of these actions begin there are some guidelines residents and visitors must follow.
According to the Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan, blackberries and blueberries may be harvested by the public for personal consumption only in areas that are deemed safe and do not interfere with military missions. A permit isn’t required for harvesting blackberries or blueberries at Arnold.
Permittees have two weeks from the date of purchase to exercise the permit. No firewood cutting is allowed on weekends during the deer hunting season. Only downed trees may be cut on site and must be cut to firewood length. Log length wood may not be removed and cut off-site. Individual permit holders may not remove more than five truck- or trailer-loads of firewood per year. Permittees may neither sell nor exchange any cut material. The permit must be kept in the possession of the permittee at all times while cutting, loading and hauling firewood and are subject to a compliance inspection by Arnold AFB or the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency at any time.
Permittees cutting fire wood are required to remove all cut tops and debris from roadways and drains and are required to comply with applicable governing regulations, federal state and local law, and safety standards.
It is not lawful to harvest any other plants or forest products within the 40,000 acres at Arnold.
When harvesting items at Arnold, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind.
Anyone planning to enter into the lands and forest of Arnold AFB should stop at one of the two Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, or TWRA, Hunters Information Kiosks to obtain latest local conditions, safety information, hunting season dates and indigenous wildlife materials, and warnings. When coming from Tullahoma traveling East on Wattendorf Highway, a kiosk is immediately on the right at the corner of Harton Boulevard as you enter the base property. Another kiosk is located on the first right gravel road as you exit Interstate 24 traveling west on Wattendorf Highway and enter base property.
Arnold AFB was used for Army live-fire training during WWII and unidentified explosive ordinance, known as UXOs, still exist today. Designated walking trails and recreational areas have been swept and cleared of UXOs.
Items such as mortars, rockets, grenades and anti-tank mines are still occasionally found by hunters and hikers in the forest of Arnold AFB even after years of munitions remediation programs efforts to locate and dispose of such items. Always remember the golden rule – If you didn’t drop it, don’t pick it up. More information on identification and how to respond to finding a UXO can be found at a TWRA kiosk. If you have any questions about the munitions remediation program, call 454-4353.
Never go alone, if possible, and always let someone know your plan. Cell phone coverage on Arnold AFB is limited and you may not be able to contact help should you need it. Let someone know exactly where you are going and what time you will return. You can even use Google Maps to pinpoint the destination and give the GPS coordinates to someone else should you fail to return in time.
Stay hydrated and wear the proper clothing and shoes for the environment.