Transylvania County to hold hearing on whether to support 8,000-acre East Fork Headwaters purchase

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy is staunchly in favor of creating the East Fork Headwaters on 8,000 acres of wilderness. The land is still privately owned by former Congressman Charles Taylor, but is under contract to be purchased as a publicly managed preserve, according to a release from the conservancy.

The tract sites mid-way between the 10,000- acre DuPont State Forest and the 7,500-acre Gorges State Park.

The Transylvania County commissioners will hold a public hearing on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. to consider submitting a letter to WRC expressing County support for the project. The official notice says the hearing will focus on “the primary use of an 8,000-acre Headwaters Tract in the East Fork area of Transylvania County, adjacent to the South Carolina state line, for hunting and fishing. The Conservation Fund is considering purchasing the tract to add to the North Carolina Game Lands.”

In addition to presentations by staff from CMLC and WRC, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to make comments. The Conservancy is asking people to speak at the hearing.

A website, Save the East Fork Headwaters provides more information in support of the creation of saving the land as a wild area. The site says, the NC Wildlife Resource Commission passed a resolution on Nov. 4 expressing support for managing the East Fork Headwaters as NC Gamelands.However, status of this project is still in flux due to uncertain funding.

About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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