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National Scenic Byway Efforts Still Going Strong

York Grist MillCongratulations to the eight counties harboring the corridor of the North Cumberland Scenic Byway for meeting the quick deadline to express their support for the proposed North Cumberland National Scenic Byway. 

Clay, Overton, Pickett, Fentress, Morgan, Scott, Campbell and Claiborne counties have each submitted a letter of support ensuring the eligibility of our application to the Federal Highways Administration to complete a corridor management plan. The Alliance for the Cumberlands Executive Director, Zebulon Turrentine said, “This is a great achievment for the region, and for the Alliance’s efforts to place the Cumberland Plateau in the national spotlight."



Since 1992 National Scenic Byways have been tying together the scenic, rural regions of America and promoting them as heritage tourism destinations. With a recent report out that shows scenic driving as the most popular activity among travelers in 2008 and 2009 (Mandala Research), there has never been a better time to promote the use of scenic byways as a way to attract much needed tourism revenue in remote rural areas.  

This is a great achievment for the region, and for the Alliance’s efforts to place the Cumberland Plateau in the national spotlight

The proposed North Cumberland Plateau National Scenic Byway passes through eight counties of the Plateau region: Clay, Picket, Overton, Fentress, Morgan, Scott, Campbell, and Claiborne Counties. Achieving National Scenic Byway Designations across the Cumberland Plateau has been one of the Alliance’s top regional marketing priorities and it is a great next step for the efforts to designate the Plateau region as a National Heritage Corridor.  If awarded, the Alliance’s recent grant request to the Federal Highway Administration will fund the completion of the route’s corridor management plan – a document that illustrates the byway corridor’s collective vision for its marketing, beautification and the preservation of its natural, cultural and historic resources.

For the past five years the Alliance has been building support for the creation of National Scenic Byways in the Cumberland Plateau region - the North Cumberland route being the most suitable pilot project. These past three months the Alliance has worked hard to build local support for the creation of this byway and the counties of the byway’s corridor have responded enthusiastically with a pledge to either commit or assist in raising the matching funds required by the grant. 

“Many of these counties have suffered greatly in light the economic downturn, and this byway presents great opportunities to grow their economy. It won’t happen overnight, but byways like it have brought millions in traveler expenditures and hundreds of jobs for the communities within their corridors.” Turrentine said.

For more information about the progress to achieve this designation and the initiatives of the Alliance for the Cumberlands please contact Zebulon Turrentine at 931-372-6125 or email

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