Outdoor Journal

Recreationists unite: The Cullowhee-based nonprofit American Whitewater is urging concerned paddlers to express their opinions on the National Forest Service’s draft Environmental Assessment for the upper portions of the Chattooga River, a stretch of river that has been closed to boats for nearly 30 years.

The proposed management plan would allow limited boating, but AW says it’s not enough, adding that the plan would “create a selfishly motivated precedent that would negatively impact rivers, managers, and recreationists.”

In a recent statement, the group went on to say that “Private landowners are seeking a monopoly on a Wild and Scenic public river, the Forest Service is seeking to strip basic protections from Wild and Scenic Rivers, and other stakeholders claiming zero-tolerance of paddlers are seeking to have paddling prohibited.

“Boaters are irrationally being singled out for adverse treatment, even while the Chief of the Forest Service directed that all users be treated equitably. Many river professionals and Forest Service personnel are behind us, but it is up to us to stop this nationwide train wreck.” 

The Forest Service has established an Aug. 1 deadline for public comment on the assessment, and American Whitewater is encouraging paddlers nationwide to submit their concerns to the federal agency.

A copy of the EA and a summary of the alternatives is available on the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests’ Web site (www.fs.fed.us/r8/fms).

Comments may be e-mailed to comments-southern-francismarion-sumter@fs.fed.us or surface mailed to: U.S. Forest Service, Chattooga River Project, 4931 Broad River Road, Columbia, S.C., 29212.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.