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Lost Cove

The South Cumberland Plateau is considered one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet. In 2008, The Land Trust for Tennessee partnered with Sewanee: The University of the South to permanently protect 3,000 acres of forested habitat that is an outdoor academic classroom and recreation area.

Lost Cove – Sewanee, TN

This habitat-rich 3,000 acres of land is owned by Sewanee: The University of the South and contains portions of Lost and Champion Coves adjacent to Sewanee. This land is significant for its undisturbed natural habitat, Lost Creek and its drainages, and local history. This conservation success was a rare opportunity to link large protected tracts including the 8,000 acre Franklin State Forest, two State Natural Areas, Buggy Top Cave, and Natural Bridge, creating and conserving a large-scale wildlife corridor.

The protected land extends to the boundary of privately held land at the bottom of Lost Cove.
During this time, The Land Trust also worked with three neighboring private landowners to protect an additional  550 acres through donated conservation easements in Lost and Champion Coves.

Expanding the Corridor:

In 2016, The Land Trust for Tennessee and Conservation Fund partnered with the State of Tennessee to conserve an additional 4,000 acres of biologically important forestland near Lost Cove. Read our work to expand this conservation corridor here.

The Ground Level: Conserving Lost Cove
The Land Trust for Tennessee led a community-fundraising effort to raise $4.3 million dollars to save this important place, formerly owned by a timber investment company.  With a million left to raise, The University joined The Land Trust in closing out the fundraising efforts and the land was purchased. The University protected the land with a conservation easement and manages the land as part of its 13,000-acre domain.

The Land Trust for Tennessee was awarded a 2009 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for the preservation of Lost Cove and Champion Cove and the St. Andrew’s-Sewanee Community Service Award for Contribution to the South Cumberland.