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A bill preserving parts of the mountains in East Tennessee is moving forward in Washington.

The bill, co-sponsored by Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, would permanently safeguard nearly 20-thousand acres in six areas of the Cherokee National Forest as wilderness.

It would also result in designation of the state's first new wilderness in decades and expand five current wilderness.

"The good thing about this is everyone seems to support it. The fishermen, the hunters, the hikers, the artists, the pastures, the botanist. The conservation group has done a lot in Tennessee to talk this through with everybody," said Sen. Alexander Tuesday on the Senate floor.

Creating and expanding these wilderness areas would have no effect on privately owned land. The bill is now headed to the full senate.

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