Friends of Panthertown Public Meeting on September 9th
The Friends of Panthertown will hold a meeting on Wednesday, September 9th from 5-7pm at the Cashiers Library to inform the public about Friends of Panthertown activities and changes affecting recreational use in Panthertown Valley. Crystal Powell with the USDA Forest Service will present the Panthertown Trail Project decision and answer questions about the new rules and regulations. Changes to this 6,300 acre backcountry area in Nantahala National Forest include designating appropriate recreational use(s), signing trails, re-routing and closing some trails, and improving current parking situations.
The Panthertown Trail Project decision memo and map are available on the North Carolina National Forest website at http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/nantahala/panthertown_trails_decision.pdf and copies will also be available at the meeting.
“Over the last year, the Friends of Panthertown Supervisory Board worked closely with the Forest Service to reach an agreement that represents the many stakeholder interests,” says Nina Elliott, the Friends of Panthertown Coordinator. “We hope the new regulations will provide recreational opportunities for a wide array of multiple users while reducing resource degradation and establishing a sustainable trail system.”
The Friends of Panthertown work in partnership with the Forest Service by providing volunteer labor and funding for conservation efforts and recreation-based projects. In 2008, Friends of Panthertown volunteers logged over 1,500 hours maintaining trails, built bulletin boards at the Salt Rock and Cold Mountain trailheads, and collaborated with the USFS on the new trail system map. In 2009-2010, the Friends of Panthertown will assist the USFS with the projects outlined in the decision memo, such as marking trails with carsonite signs, installing maps and interpretive information in the new bulletin boards, re-routing the Wilderness Falls trail, constructing the Blackrock Spur Trail and repairing the bridge over Panthertown Creek. Volunteers and funding are needed to complete these projects. Monthly work days are on the 4th Saturday of the month (time and location varies, so check the calendar of events at http://www.panthertown.org)
Anyone interested in learning more about the Friends of Panthertown and what’s going on in Panthertown Valley is encouraged to attend. For more information, contact the Friends of Panthertown Coordinator with the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance, at 828-526-9938 (ext. 258) or by email at email@example.com or online at http://www.panthertown.org.