Posted by: panthertown | November 14, 2014

Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests Plan Revision Will Impact Panthertown

Forest Plan Revision

U.S. Forest Service wants to hear from the public on how best to manage more than 1 million acres of public land in Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests. Get involved!

The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are enjoyed by millions of people every year. Encompassing more than 1 million acres in western North Carolina, these natural areas provide a wide array of benefits including clean air and water, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, solitude, forest products such as timber, and much more. The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests extend along the Appalachian Mountains of 18 counties in western North Carolina.

Nanthala-Pisgah National ForestsPisgah National Forest was established in 1916 and Nantahala National Forest in 1920. These two national forests attract more visitors annually than most other national forests in the country and include the heavily used Appalachian National Scenic Trail as well as six federally designated wilderness acres totaling approximately 66,550 acres.

Every national forest and grassland has a management plan. The U.S. Forest Service’s National Forests in North Carolina are in the process of revising the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan which will direct the management of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, including Panthertown Valley, Bonas Defeat, and Big Pisgah for the next 15- 20 years.

WLOS ABC News 13WLOS ABC News 13 reported on Thursday that the
Plan Would Open 700,000 Acres To Logging
Published November 13, 2014

The Forest Service is requesting feedback from the public, and expects to modify the plan within the coming months in response to public comment.

The Forest Service is requesting feedback from the public, and expects to modify the plan within the coming months in response to public comment.

The Forest Service is requesting feedback from the public, and expects to modify the plan within the coming months in response to public comment.

Like other national forests and grasslands, the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are public lands. These ecologically important, natural areas are owned by the public and managed for multiple uses by the U.S. Forest Service. After development, the Revised Forest Plan will supersede the 1987 Forest Plan, as amended, and will provide direction to assure coordination of multiple-uses such as outdoor recreation, timber, watershed, wildlife and fish, and wilderness as well as sustained yield of products and services.

Members of the public have a right to provide input on how the lands are managed, and Plan revision is one of the best opportunities. All members of the public are invited to participate in the Plan revision process.

The U.S. Forest Service has released a draft of their forest management revision plan. Friends of Panthertown has been a part of the revision process since the beginning and encourages public participation. View proposed revision draft materials presented at public meetings held in October and November.

Comments or questions about the Plan revision or process can be sent by email to:

NCPlanRevision@fs.fed.us

Hard copies of comments can be mailed to:

National Forests in North Carolina
Nantahala-Pisgah Plan Revision
160 Zillicoa St. Suite A
Asheville, NC 28801


Asheville Citizen-Times published this article about the plan revision:

Asheville Citizen-Times

Logging in Pisgah, Nantahala forests hanging in the balance
Published November 13, 2014

The Pisgah-Nantahala Forest Management Plan will guide the future of about one million acres of federal land for up to 15 years in areas such as timber, water, wildlife and recreation.


Smoky Mountain News has an extensive article about the plan:

SmokyMountainNews-crForests for the future: First glimmers of forest plan draw polarized reactions
Published November 12, 2014

Let your voice be heard
There’s no formal comment period on the material presented at this round of presentations, but the Forest Service is soliciting comments to guide it as it tweaks the direction of the plan and fills in some details. All materials from the presentations are online.
Comments received by mid-December will have the most impact on the process. They can be sent to NCPlanRevision@fs.fed.us or 160 Zillicoa St., Suite A, Asheville, N.C. 28805.


Updated report from Blue Ridge Now:

Draft forest plan adds 700,000 acres to ‘timber base'”
Published November 16, 2014

Not only does the draft plan allow logging on 164,000 more acres than the existing one, conservationists point out that the Forest Service is planning to open up areas previously protected from timber operations, areas they have fought to exclude in the past.

By taking such a broad-brush approach to logging, the agency is missing an opportunity to truly restore even-aged forests left behind by years of clear-cutting, said Josh Kelly, public lands biologist with the Western North Carolina Alliance.

“The Forest Service could sell more timber, meet game wildlife goals for hunters and fulfill its ecological responsibility by focusing its limited budget on restoring degraded areas with existing road access,” Kelly said. “We have a historic opportunity to care for this forest like it deserves — a real win-win solution — but if the plan is mired in conflict, none of that work will get done.”


Carolina Public Press

Carolina Public PressForest Lookouts: Deciding the future of WNC’s national forests
Published October 22, 2014
Part 1

WNC’s National Forests: Is the public in? Or are we out?
Published October 31, 2014
Part 2

About the Forest Lookout series
This story launches a Carolina Public Press in-depth reporting project about the future of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests which are – for the first time in 20 years – undergoing an extensive re-planning process. Hiking through the national forests, paddling a river or fishing a stream, you can’t see the plan. But this process – which will ultimately oversee more than 1 million acres in 18 mountain counties using a process that has been largely untested on the East Coast – will have innumerable impacts on Western North Carolina’s residents, economies and environment. In Forest Lookouts, Carolina Public Press will pull back the layers of bureaucracy to report on the plan’s players and leaders, analyze the plan’s inception and implementation, find what community leaders, elected officials and conservationists think are the biggest issues facing the forests and explore the best ways to manage the forest for future generations — all to help residents across North Carolina understand what’s going on and how to participate.


High Country Press

High Country PressU.S. Forest Service Proposes Opening Roughly 700,000 Acres of Pisgah-Nantahala to Logging Program
Published November 12, 2014

The Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest has become a tourism and recreation destination, and revenue generated by visitors is a major driver of the western North Carolina economy. The National Forests of North Carolina are the third most visited national forest in the country. Industrial logging not only damages scenery and natural features, which are the key draw for half of those visits, but also requires popular areas to be closed to the public for months at a time while trees are being cut.


Mountain Xpress

Mountain XpressThe forest for the trees: Debating Forest Service plan at Newsmakers forum
Published November 13, 2014

On Thursday, Nov. 13, the Asheville-based investigative news outlet Carolina Public Press hosted its first Newsmakers series — in this case, a lively discussion that dived questions about the U.S. Forest Service’s draft plan for 1 million acres of public lands in Western North Carolina.

Interactive media forum looks at the future of WNC’s forests
Published November 12, 2014

“The Future of WNC’s National Forests,” hosted by Carolina Public Press, will be held tomorrow morning, featuring a live interview followed by a public Q&A period with panelists from National Forests of North Carolina, American Whitewater, The Wilderness Society and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.


The Mountaineer

The Mountaineer

Forest Service proposes logging Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest
Published November 13, 2014

This industrial-style logging would also require cutting new roads for trucks and equipment into sensitive, unspoiled backcountry areas.


Other Voices

Revision Plan

U.S. Forest Service proposes opening 700,000 acres of Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest to logging

Environmental Law CenterSouthern Environmental Law Center expresses their strong concerns and criticisms that U.S. Forest Service Proposes Opening Most of the Popular Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest to Logging, request public get involved.

WNCAWestern North Carolina Alliance has asked the public to take action by sending comments to the USFS. U.S. Forest Service proposes opening most of Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest to logging “Forest Service proposes massive logging program in an area bigger than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park”

The Wilderness SocietyThe Wilderness Society encourages public participation in the plan revision process, “North Carolina’s Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest’s management plans are currently in the process of being revised by the US Forest Service. These plans only get revised once every 15-20 years and this is a critical time to let your voice be heard! The Forest Service is proposing a shocking proportion of the landscape for timber production!”

Wild SouthWild South reports, “The US Forest Service has unveiled plans to open nearly 700,000 acres of YOUR National Forests to logging. This represents 70% of the forests which are prized for their recreational resources, wildlife habitats, clean water, and much more than just timber.”

Take Action NOW to Protect The Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests

Take Action Now

The U.S. Forest Service is requesting feedback from the public on the Nantahala-Pisgah forest management plan revisions. Public participation is extremely important.


Responses

  1. Is Panthertown part of the 700,000 acres where logging would be allowed? What areas are excluded from loggin?

  2. Article from BlueRidgeNow published on Sunday, November 16:

    http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20141116/ARTICLES/141119946/1151?Title=Forest-plan-adds-700-000-acres-to-timber-base

    Draft forest plan adds 700,000 acres to ‘timber base’”

    […]

    “Not only does the draft plan allow logging on 164,000 more acres than the existing one, conservationists point out that the Forest Service is planning to open up areas previously protected from timber operations, areas they have fought to exclude in the past.”

    […]

    “By taking such a broad-brush approach to logging, the agency is missing an opportunity to truly restore even-aged forests left behind by years of clear-cutting, said Josh Kelly, public lands biologist with the Western North Carolina Alliance.”

    “The Forest Service could sell more timber, meet game wildlife goals for hunters and fulfill its ecological responsibility by focusing its limited budget on restoring degraded areas with existing road access,” Kelly said. “We have a historic opportunity to care for this forest like it deserves — a real win-win solution — but if the plan is mired in conflict, none of that work will get done.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories