Here’s an excerpt from the Asheville Citizen-Times article:
The U.S. Forest Service will proceed with a logging project in the Courthouse Creek area of the Pisgah National Forest within view of popular hiking areas near the Blue Ridge Parkway, drawing mixed reaction from forest user groups.
Pisgah District Ranger Derek Ibarguen on Wednesday announced the final decision, which includes revisions from the proposal released late last year, taking into account the more than 500 comments received during the 30-day public comment period.
“I want to assure people that I heard their concerns and this decision will preserve the things that people value in Western North Carolina such as cultural resources, beautiful views and wildlife habitats,” Ibarguen said. “I feel like this decision balances the concerns about commercial harvesting with those who would like to see even more harvesting than is presented in this decision.”
… The logging, which may begin as early as 2015, will include 30 harvest sites that range in size from 4 to 34 acres, dispersed across the 7,000-acre Courthouse Creek area. The area, about 9 miles west of Pisgah Ranger Station on U.S. 276, is generally bounded by N.C. 215 to the west and south, the Blue Ridge Parkway to the north and Art Loeb Trail to the east. It will take four to five years.
… The decision directs tree harvest on a total of 435 acres, about 6 percent of the Courthouse Creek area. This is a decrease from a previous proposal of more than 500 acres. No clear cuts will take place, and no new roads will be constructed, Ibarguen said.