Paint Rock River Landscape Conservation Area
Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 12:11 PM
By The Nature Conservancy
The Paint Rock River is a free-flowing tributary of the Tennessee River and is almost entirely located within Jackson County in northeastern Alabama. The watershed encompasses about 318 square miles and is one of the most biologically important regions in the state for both aquatic and plant and animal associations.
The Paint Rock River supports an extremely diverse array of aquatic life, including some 100 species of fish and about 45 different mussel species. Five globally imperiled mussels and 12 globally rare mussels are found in the Paint Rock and its tributaries. Two of the mussel species are found nowhere else in the world, and one fish species is confined to the Paint Rock River and one stream in Kentucky.
On top of the plateaus within the watershed, isolated ponds dot the landscape. White-fringeless orchids are often found around the pond perimeters and dragonflies are found in the above waters.
This watershed harbors a massive and unique rock formation known by local residents as the Walls of Jericho. The underlying limestone of the watershed is riddled with caves, springs and sinkholes and is a well-known destination for cavers throughout the U.S.
The Conservancy established Keel Mountain preserve in 2001 at the "foot" of this watershed. The Conservancy's Paint Rock River Office opened in Paint Rock, Ala., in May 2001. To learn more about how The Conservancy is working in the Paint Rock River or for information on volunteer opportunities at the Paint Rock River Project Office, contact Doug Fears, program director, at email@example.com.
MNN is working with The Nature Conservancy to bring you state-by-state environmental information.
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