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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“My whole world seems to be closing,” says Danny Bernstein, an Asheville-based outdoors writer who regularly leads hikes for the Carolina Mountain Club and Friends of the Smokies. “Staying 6 feet apart is easy on the trail. But how can we have outdoor activity if almost every piece of public land is closed?”
While the long-running planning process has made considerable progress toward a consensus vision for the forest, sticking points do still remain. Conservationists continue to disagree with some hunting advocates and logging industry groups about protected area designations and the exact extent of active management on the land.
UNC Asheville hosts its 17th annual F-Word (Feminist) Film Festival, Michael Flanagan and other musicians live improvise a score to “House (Hausu)” at The Mothlight and more.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved economic incentives, a resolution urging the federal government to designate Big Ivy as wilderness and set a public hearing for the proposed tax schedule during its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
During an upcoming fundraiser, Wild South will celebrate its own conservation work in addition to awarding the efforts of activists across eight states. Headlining the evening is DeLene Beeland, a local author who will speak about her experiences with endangered red wolves. The Millroom hosts the event on Saturday, May 7.
Two documentaries on extreme runners and the Tarahumara Indians, plus a benefit screening for Homeward Bound of WNC.