In part four, the last in the series, CPP reports on the objections and responses to the recent decision to harvest 26 acres that encompass an old growth patch of forest on a 3,500-foot mountaintop — the Southside Project.
“It’s inspiring to see so many objections to the disappointing Pisgah-Nantahala forest plan, which wants to maximize logging and minimize protections for the forest.”
The U.S. Forest Service’s proposed land management plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala forests has drawn thousands of objections, leading to an extension of time to review concerns. The Forest Service chief now calls the plan revision process, which took more than a decade, unsustainable.
According to a presentation available before the meeting of Tuesday, March 15, the county hopes to “impact 2,800-3,150 affordable housing units by 2030,” including 1,500-1,850 new rental units affordable for households making 80% or less of the area median income ($42,100 for an individual or $60,100 for a family of four).
The Southern Environmental Law Center plans to file an objection over acreage perceived as being left at risk under U.S. Forest Service plan for Western North Carolina’s national forests.
Groups in Western North Carolina are continuing their projects while the U.S. Forest Service finalizes its choices for the comprehensive 20-year plan.
Deteriorating forest roads damage the ecosystem and limit access essential for forest management and the forest-product economy.
On March 17, the county announced that it would combine its Soil and Water Conservation District with N.C. Cooperative Extension to form the Agriculture and Land Resources Department. Meanwhile, the managers of numerous area parks and trails have opted to restrict access in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
All meetings on the U.S. Forest Service schedule of open house sessions planned for March across Western North Carolina have been cancelled, with the 90-day comment period underway.
On Feb. 14, the U.S. Forest Service kicked off a 90-day comment period on the long-awaited draft of a new plan for the forests, set to take effect in 2021 and guide the service’s management approach over the next 10-15 years. Comment online, by mail and at public meetings throughout WNC ends on Thursday, May 14.
The U.S. Forest Service plans to harvest the majority of trees at 16 sites in Nantahala National Forest beginning next year as part of its Southside Project. Story by Jack Igelman, originally published by Carolina Public Press.
Many emails represent the views of local organizations and user groups – such as the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council, the Friends of Big Ivy, and mountain bikers – who have played active and forceful roles during the forest plan revision.
Western North Carolina’s wild places and creatures lie at the heart of the region’s appeal, inspiring local artists and attracting visitors from across the globe. Events in 2018 promised to shape the future of those natural resources for years to come.
Asheville City Council passed a resolution condemning the actions of white supremacists and racial violence in Charlottesville earlier this month. Council members also resolved to support the designation of Big Ivy as a wilderness area, and voted to move forward with a phased approach to a greenway along Lyman Street to Amboy Road. A proposal to reduce the minimum width of residential lots by 20 percent citywide was sent back to the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission for further study.