US Forest Service finalizes purchase of Rocky Fork

US Forest Service finalizes purchase of Rocky Fork

ERWIN (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service has completed its purchase of a large undeveloped tract of land in the Appalachians.

The tract, known as Rocky Fork, is nearly 10,000 acres and lies in Unicoi and Greene counties in East Tennessee. The Johnson City Press reported $5 million in funding from the USDA helped it finalize the purchase of 1,200 acres - the last section that was privately owned.

Preserving as much of Rocky Fork as possible became a priority of the U.S. Forest Service when it acquired the first parcel of it in 2008 as the land went up for sale.

In all, the Forest Service has spent $40 million on 7,667 acres. The nonprofit Conservation Fund owns another 2,000 acres.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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