Conservation Issues

Our Forests in Danger -   Personal Comments needed throughout 2015  (See  Forest Service addresses below)

Revising the Land Management Plan    Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests   Under the current proposed plan, 70% of the forest will be open to logging (“suitable for timber.”)  Stress that you support preservation and conservation.

Start by explaining your love and use of the forest.  Be specific.

Consider the following points:  (Take a few and personalize them)                        

• Place the Wilderness Society Mountain Treasures and the NC Heritage Program management areas in “unsuitable for timber production and road building”

• Place old growth forests and old-growth forest designations from the last Forest Plan in management areas “unsuitable for timber production and road building”

• Prevent fragmentation of important core forests

• With budget cuts, US Forest Service will not be able to adequately supervise work done by subcontracting logging of the forests (ie,. clear cutting may be the unintended result)  

• Stress the importance of water protection: with logging, mountain streams will be damaged

• Note that well over 2/3 of forestry jobs are for tourism, both for out of state visitors & in-state visitors, not for logging or hunting

The following areas are in the “suitable for timber” management areas.  Chose areas/ trails that you love and ask that they be protected:

Art Loeb trail (south of BRP), Cat Gap, Farlow Gap in the Fish Hatchery area, Black Mountain, and the Black Mountain areas of Lost Cove Ridge ( Black Mt Campgrond 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, Bluff Mt near Max Patch 

The following areas should be recommended for Wilderness:

  (Please add comments as to the suitability of the area for wilderness.)

Black Mountains:  old growth forest, virgin spruce-fir forest, next to Mt. Mitchell, UNESCO biosphere reserve

Craggy Mountains (Big Ivy): old growth & virgin forest, Nat. Heritage Areas, Walker Cove Natural Area

Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Extensions: old growth forest next to established wilderness; connection bet. Nat. Parks

Linville Gorge Extensions: old growth forest next to Linville Gorge wilderness area

Mackey Mt: largest unbroken tract of old-growth forest in Pisgah National Forest

Middle Prong Extension: watershed & wildlife habitat sanctuary, migratory corridor, including for cerulean warbler

Overflow Creek (Blue Valley): congressionally designated wilderness study area, old growth forest

Shining Rock Extensions: Mt Treasure Area, Inventoried Roadless Area; includes Graveyard Fields, Art Loeb trail etc

Snowbird: most is congressionally designated wilderness study area

Southern Nantahala Extensions: old growth forest, rare high elevation mt. bog, animal corridor, diverse plants

Tusquitee Bald: old growth forest, Inventoried Roadless Area; Fire’s Creek’s watershed; animal sanctuary

Unicoi Mountains: old growth forest, special biological area; Inventoried Roadless Area; cultural/historic significance

 Information on forest plan revision is available online at  www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc home page with links on right of Nantahala-Pisgah National Plan Revision

Email comments/ submit to: NCPlanRevision@fs.fed.us

Postal mail comments to:  US Forest Service, 160 Zillicoa St, Suite A, Asheville, NC 28801

The USFS has set up http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/home/?cid=stelprd3822407 for an interactive map to make comments on proposals for wilderness areas.