“We were willing to match any price bid on the value of the cut timber in exchange for what would amount to a 100-year carbon lease on those acres.”
“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.”
“These forests belong to all of us. Cutting them down benefits only a few, while protecting them improves everyone’s health and well-being.”
“The U.S. Forest Service should reconsider its mission and focus less on ‘productivity’ for tree-harvesting and more on sustaining the health and diversity of our national forest lands, streams and rivers.”
“Gifford Pinchot himself pinned it many decades ago in declaring that he doubted that future foresters would truly understand the diverse ecosystems of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in their management decisions.”
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.
“Amid constant change, our forests desperately need intentional manipulations and disturbances. Sure, left alone, Mother Nature will reset these lands for us: But it will be done through ice storms, wildfires and catastrophic, random events.”
Innovative approaches such as land restoration and private-public partnerships, as well as revisiting tried approaches such as herd grazing and indigenous land management, offer partial answers to the challenges of a changing climate in WNC forests.
“For eight years, the public has consistently and overwhelmingly supported more protections for Pisgah. I hope that the Forest Service finally decides to listen.”
The pending approval of a U.S. Forest Service plan for the roughly 1 million acres that the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests cover in Western North Carolina is likely to influence whether a large swath of the Craggy Mountains should be open for timber harvesting or managed for recreation.
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.
Although the U.S. Forest Service has recommended that most of Big Ivy be managed for conservation or recreation, approximately 4,000 acres in the North Fork and Snowball Mountain areas has been flagged for potential logging.
On Jan. 21, the U.S. Forest Service released a final draft plan that will cover over 1 million acres of public land in Western North Carolina for the next 15-20 years. Although public comment on the plan is closed, people and organizations who previously submitted comment are eligible to file objections through Monday, March 21.
The U.S. Forest Service offered four alternative management plans for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests in 2020. It has decided to go with a fifth alternative.
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.
Groups in Western North Carolina are continuing their projects while the U.S. Forest Service finalizes its choices for the comprehensive 20-year plan.
According to the N.C. Climate Science Report prepared by N.C. State University’s Asheville-based N.C. Institute for Climate Studies and other experts, the area will likely experience more landslides in the coming years due to climate change.
“Help us make a difference with some of our rarest species by joining thousands of visitors in the simple act of staying on trails and heeding any ‘area closed’ signs.”
On April 22, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy shared news of a 7,500-acre donation in the Roan Highlands. That same day, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina announced a 332-acre donation along Wilson Creek.
Forest supervisor James Melonas sets priorities for tenure as leader of state’s four national forests.