House passes bill for better public access at Catawba Falls

Backed by Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, a recently passed federal bill (H.R. 1002) will allow the U.S. Forest Service to buy 88 private acres for better public access to Catawba Falls in McDowell County. With the purchase, the Forest Service can expand the trailhead to the falls and possibly create a parking area.

“The public should have access to spectacular Catawaba Falls,” says Shuler. Current access is limited to a steep and rugged wooded area. “This bill not only opens the falls to hikers, fisherman and hunters, but will help the economy of McDowell County,” Shuler adds.

The bill also adjust the Pisgah National Forest boundaries, adding 233 acres already owned by the federal government. Funding for the Catawba Falls-related purchase — about $713,000 — is in the 2010 Interior Department appropriation bill. H.R. 1002 must be passed by the Senate before it can be signed into law.

McDowell County Manager Chuck Abernathy remarks, “Catawba Falls is a tremendous resource for [the] county. We are most appreciative and excited about access to the falls being permanently obtained.

For more information, click here for the McDowell News article.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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 Your e-mail address will not be published.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.