Advocates say community members voiced concerns with no factual basis about federal Wild and Scenic designation for river in Yancey and Mitchell counties.
NC groups initially united behind a federal designation to protect a stretch of the Nolichucky River. But fears voiced in Tennessee put a snag in those plans.
The proposed Wild and Scenic River designation would require the U.S. Forest Service to develop a specific watershed management plan for a half-mile corridor along about 7 miles of the Nolichucky River running through the Nolichucky Gorge from Poplar, N.C., to Chestoa, Tenn. The move would also permanently prohibit federal support for dam building and other actions that could change the river’s flow.
On Thursday, Nov. 13, the Asheville-based investigative news outlet Carolina Public Press hosted its first Newsmakers series — in this case, a lively discussion that dived questions about the U.S. Forest Service’s draft plan for 1 million acres of public lands in Western North Carolina. (photos by Pat Barcas)