Prioritize forests

In the context of the forest plan revision for Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, it is important to understand that the vast majority of the last management plan has not been implemented. The funding provided by the federal government is a fraction of what would be needed to put the 1994 plan into action. The budget that the Forest Service in Western North Carolina is working with is not going to change in the foreseeable future.

The North Carolina Forest Service is in the midst of revising its Forest Management Plan that will prioritize how to spend the limited budget received from Congress. The Forest Service will base its priorities on your priorities. Tell them that improving ecological health and resilience to non-native plants and a changing climate is a priority.

Facilitating the return of vital, beautiful species like elk is a priority. Protecting and enhancing the forests that drive WNC’s $2 billion tourist industry is a priority to all of us. The mission of the Forest Service ought to be to work toward a healthy, thriving forest that promotes social, ecological and economical prosperity.

Write the Forest Service at ncplanrevision@fs.fed.us, and make sure they know that forests are good for more than logging.

— Jamie DeMarco
Swannanoa

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