Public opinion sought on Chattooga

Public opinion sought on Chattooga-attachment0

The U.S. Forest Service is asking for public input on six “preliminary alternatives” for recreational management of the upper section of the Chatooga River.

The Chattooga begins in Jackson County, N.C., near Whitesides Mountain and flows southwesterly, forming the border between South Carolina and Georgia. Currently the service’s regulations limit boating on the Chattooga to below the Highway 28 bridge in South Carolina (the river’s 36-mile lower portion), but several of the alternative plans under consideration would allow boating farther upstream.

The possibility of increased access of the Chattooga’s upper portion to boaters has been a lingering source of concern among sporting factions; anglers and wilderness enthusiasts especially have been some of the more vocal opponents to a loosening of the current restrictions.

Comments on the preliminary alternatives may be e-mailed to comments-southern-francismarion-sumter@fs.fed.us or mailed to John Cleeves, U.S. Forest Service, 4931 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29212. They must be received by 4 p.m on Sept. 13 to become part of the public record.

The Forest Service also will be holding an alternatives workshop on Sept. 29, 2007. Location and time information will be available soon on the service’s web site, where more information is available.

— Kent Priestley, staff writer

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