From the citizen times 1-2-15
Our forests are in danger
The land management plan for Nantahala and Pisgah national forests is up for renewal now by the U.S. Forest Service .
Under the proposed plan, 70 percent of forests areas, designated as “suitable for timber” will be open to logging.
The implications of the proposed plan for adversely affecting the beauty of our mountains, and the economic benefits of tourism are far reaching. In addition, the potential environmental impact related to logging roads, run-off, erosion, fragmentation of core forests, and damage to mountain streams, cannot be ignored.
Furthermore, anticipated budget cuts would significantly hinder the ability of the USFS to adequately monitor and supervise logging efforts which could lead to clear-cutting undesignated areas.
One need only drive down Reems Creek Road (at Ballcrank Corporation) and look to the mountains slightly to the right to see the potential aesthetic consequences of deforestation. Supporters of the proposed plan advocate that a minimum or 4,500 acres be available for logging each year, which, over time, would be devastating to our mountains.
Areas designated “suitable for timber” include the Art Loeb trail (south of BRP), Cat Gap, Farlow Gap in the Fish Hatchery area, Black Mountains, and the Black Mountain areas of Lost Cove Ridge (Black Mountain Campground to Green Knob) and Colbert Ridge (Carolina Hemlocks campground, Celo) Couthouse Creek & Falls, Overmountain Victory Trail (west of Linville Gorge), Big Ivy (Coleman Boundary), Unaka Mountain, John Rock, Devil’s Courthouse Creek and Bluff Mountain near Max Patch. Other areas that should be recommended for consideration as “wilderness” include Black Mountain, Craggy Mountains (Big Ivy), Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Extensions, Linville Gorge Extensions, Mackey Mountain, Middle Prong Extension, Overflow Creek (Blue Valley), Shining Rock Extensions, Snowbird WSA, Southern Nantahala Extensions, Tusquitee Bald, and the Unicoi Mountains.
To preserve the beauty of our mountains and the economic benefits of tourism, it is important to provide USFS with comments by the deadline of Jan. 5.
Comments should specifically highlight those issues and areas that are of particular importance to the commenter.
Information on the forest plan revision is available online at National Forests in North Carolina with links on right of Nantahala-Pisgah National Plan Revision. Email comments or submit to:
or mail comments to:
U.S. Forest Service
160 Zillicoa St., Suite A
Asheville, NC 28801.
Also, http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/ nfsnc/home/?cid=stelprd3822407 provides an interactive map to make comments on proposals for wilderness areas.
Goodman received his PhD from N.C. State and has worked in public health and safety for 38 years including 25 years in highway safety for various agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration where he specialized in driver behavior and performance. He lives in Weaverville.