The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is closing Prentice Cooper State Forest until further notice to prevent potential spread of COVID-19.
“Despite urging the public to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing and to limit travel, we are still seeing an overwhelming number of visitors to Prentice Cooper State Forest,” State Forester David Arnold said. “That has led us to the difficult decision to close the forest to the public. We all need to work together during this health emergency, and we look forward to reopening the forest when it is safe to do so.”
The main road into Prentice Cooper State Forest and all Edwards Point Tract access points are closed effective immediately. Hiking trail entries from private property are also closed.
Agricultural Crime Unit officers and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) are working together to arrange patrols and enforce the closure. Managed turkey hunts coordinated through TWRA will begin as scheduled on April 7.
“Legal turkey hunters will be allowed to hunt in Prentice Cooper State Forest during their regularly scheduled dates,” Cumberland District Forester Andy McBride said. “Hunters do not hunt in groups, nor are there large numbers of them during these hunts for safety reasons. They naturally practice social distancing when they hunt.”
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture urges all citizens to follow CDC guidelines for good health to stop the spread of COVID-19.