Army Will Take Control Of Cumberland Lock Site

The Nashville Engineer District is in the process of adjusting the Lake Barkley Master Plan by redesignating the Lock C site in Montgomery County, Tenn. Lock C lies on the right bank of the Cumberland River, just upstream of Cumberland City. The Corps will change its recreation status from “low-density” to “inactive” to allow the district to reassign it to the U.S. Army garrison at Fort Campbell.

The Lock C site has historically been used by the Army to transport equipment on the Cumberland River. In 2018, the Corps issued a permit to Fort Campbell to allow it to load and unload barges along the shore of a 14.64-acre portion of the site. The permitted area has remnants of the old lock wall and a “rudimentary” boat ramp. It currently receives what the Corps calls “light recreational usage from boaters and bank fishermen.”

Fort Campbell wants more control over the area so that it can erect fencing and restrict access to it. Public access will be completely restricted “due to the incompatibility of recreational use with the proposed military use of the area,” according to a March 27 letter sent by the Nashville District to all interested parties.

The Army plans to build a barge loading and unloading facility by improving existing facilities. To offset impacts to wetlands, the Army will buy 3.5 credits from the Tennessee Wildlife Federation Wetland In-Lieu Fee Program for the permanent fill of 1.74 acres of emergent wetlands.

A cultural resources review is underway. A biological survey did not reveal the presence of threatened or endangered plant species or habitat.

If the Army wants to give up its military use of the site, a clause in the agreement will require it to restore it for recreational use and to remove all fencing, buildings and barriers. Improvements such as roadways may stay in place if they could be used for recreational purposes.

The Nashville District is preparing an environmental assessment (EA) to assess the impacts of the changeover and to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other applicable acts.

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