Let's Mine the Wildlife Area?

State lands are under the jurisdiction of the state Building Commission, which is made up of legislative leaders, the governor, and the constitutional officers. One of the members is state comptroller Justin Wilson.

A coal company is trying to get permission to mine state land in the Catoosa Wildlife Management Area on the Cumberland Plateau. Hmmm. What's in that neighborhood? Well, there is the Justin Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park.

It was named after Wilson to acknowledge his efforts as deputy governor under Don Sundquist to protect the environment. Creating state parks, fighting to clean up pollution in Oak Ridge and the Pigeon River, and protecting the environment in general. The Tennessee Conservation League named him Conservationist of the Year in 1997. In private practice, attorney Wilson specialized in environmental law and advising clients on how to comply with environmental regulations.

Good luck, coal company.