Letter: Pisgah-Nantahala forest plan fails us

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Fourteen thousand!

Fourteen thousand! That’s how many people have formally objected to the Pisgah-Nantahala forest plan, which proposes to quadruple logging in the 1-million-acre national forest that surrounds Asheville.

In less than two months, more than 14,000 people have stepped up to save our forest from massive logging. The plan specifically targets old-growth forests, including the beloved Big Ivy forests and the scenic views from Craggy Gardens.

This plan also completely dismisses the important role that forests play in protecting our climate and clean drinking water. It also plans to build over 300 miles of new roads into some of the most rare ecosystems and biologically diverse forests.

It also allows logging along the Appalachian Trail, Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Art Loeb Trail, Benton Mackaye Trail, Bartram Trail and Trail of Tears National Historic Trail corridors.

Now more than ever, we need to be protecting our forests, especially our publicly owned national forests.

Their clean drinking water, recreation, scenery, climate, carbon storage and tourism benefits make their worth far more valuable than any board feet of timber.

This is an unprecedented and record-breaking number of objections. Fourteen thousand objections clearly signal that something is seriously wrong with this plan, which will last the next 30 years.

In addition, a coalition of 100 local businesses and organizations released a Forest Plan Report Card that gave this plan an F, and for good reason. This forest plan has failed us. The Forest Service needs to go back to the drawing board and write a plan that protects our forests — and the health of everyone who lives in these mountains.

— Emily Diznoff, M.D.


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4 thoughts on “Letter: Pisgah-Nantahala forest plan fails us

  1. Voirdire

    When has the Forest Service ever come up with a forest plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala forests that has not been fundamentally all about logging the mature hardwood forests that comprise both these forests? The recreation component of their “plans” is nothing short of a farce and a ruse. As for water quality and biodiversity protection… they haven’t a clue, nor do the pretend to. It’s helpful to remember the US Forest Service is under the Department of Agriculture…. production and harvesting are their primary objectives, always.

  2. Voirdire

    When has the Forest Service ever come up with a forest plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala forests where the primary objective was not to log the mature hardwood forests that comprise both these forests? (the answer is never) The whole recreation component of their plans has never been anything but an intended distraction, a farce, and a ruse. The of idea of waters quality/ watershed protection – as well any attempt towards/ at biodiversity preservation- is simply not in their “mission”. It’s helpful to remember the the US Forest Service is under the auspices of the US Dept. of Agriculture…. as rapid as possible timber production, and getting the cut out (…that would be harvesting) is what their “mission” is. There is nothing else… other than window dressing.

  3. Mark Thompson

    Intact forests store carbon. That fact alone should be enough to stop all logging on federal lands. There are dozens of lawsuits suing the Forest Service across the country. There management is corrupt and serves nobody but the logging companies.

  4. Robert

    So many politicians and State entities in Buncombe and North Carolina need to have their asses sued for the negligent ways they do (not) protect citizens both present and future.

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