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Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
Written by Deborah

April 15: “Wilderness & the Anthropocene.”

The Wilderness Society Southern Appalachian Regional Office is hosting a free event in Asheville on April 15 from 6-9pm at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville entitled “Wilderness & the Anthropocene.” There will be a reception beginning at 6pm followed by a panelist discussion at 7pm with John Lane, Jennifer Frick-Ruppert, Drew Lanham, and Catherine Reid, who will examine the concept of wilderness in an increasingly small world. These are writers and scientists with diverse backgrounds so it should be an interesting discussion led by Brent Martin. At 8pm we’ll have a book signing and a second round of reception with food and drink. 

 There will be food from Strada Italiano, wine, and beer from Asheville Brewing.

This event is free but we are requesting that you RSVP so that we have an idea of how many people to expect. To RSVP, and for more details, visit wilderness-and-the-anthropocene.eventbrite.com.

Program flyer: Wilderness_and_Anthropocene_April_15

Monday, March 21st, 2016
Written by Deborah

Wed April 6 meeting: “Duke’s Power Plant & Home Energy Efficiency”

Learn how you can reduce your energy usage so that Duke doesn’t have to build additional power.  Jason Walls of Duke will speak on Duke’s plans and Amy Musser will speak on your energy usage. Wednesday, April 6, 7 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place, (corner of Charlotte & Edwin). Free & open to the public. Contact: judymattox@sbcglobal.net, 828-683-2176


Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
Written by Deborah

Input sought on Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan

ASHEVILLE, N.C., February 29, 2016 — Starting this month, the Forest Service will provide an opportunity for the public and partners to see draft building blocks of the Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan as they are being developed. Some initial building blocks of the plan are available now on the National Forests in North Carolina website.

Since 2012, the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests have been in the process of revising their forest plan. The forest plan is a required document that guides what activities can take place on a particular piece of Forest Service land. Forest plans are typically revised every 15-20 years.

“Public input is essential to our planning process,” explains James Melonas, Deputy Forest Supervisor for National Forests in North Carolina. “We are continuing to engage the public in various ways as we develop the Forest Plan. To help facilitate input and discussion, we are sharing our thinking on each small piece of the plan as it is being developed. Sharing now allows us to make sure we are on the right track before we release an official draft.”

This month, the Forest Service is releasing pieces of the plan that apply to the whole forest. These pieces identify broad goals and concepts for managing the forest’s resources. More building blocks of the developing plan, including the management area plan direction, the plan monitoring program and required analyses, such as the evaluation of lands that might be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, will be available in the months ahead. These additional materials will be posted on the website throughout spring and summer 2016.

“It is important for the public to understand that the materials we are releasing now are ‘under construction.’ As we receive feedback, the versions on the web will be updated to reflect our evolving thinking,” says Melonas. “We want to show how public input is being used in the development of the plan.”

These building blocks are designed to build a broadly supported and implementable forest plan that guides the Forest to provide clean and abundant water, connect people to the land, and improve and restore forest health. A formal draft plan and associated Environmental Impact Statement are expected for release in Fall 2016.

The developing plan language, as well as a short video from Deputy Forest Supervisor James Melonas, is available on the Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Planning Home page of the National Forests in North Carolina website (www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc). New content will be updated as it is developed on the Forest Plan Under Construction page

Sunday, March 6th, 2016
Written by Deborah

March 14: Alert – Clean up Cliffside Coal Ash meeting

Please write public comments or attend meetings March 14

Email: rogerscomments@ncdenr.gov

Mail: Debra Watts, N.C. Division of Water Resources, Groundwater Protection Section, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, 

Attn: Debra Watts, 1636 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1611.

Date: comments received by April 18, 2016 will be considered in determining final impoundment classifications.

Hearings: Rutherford County hearing Isothermal Community College Auditorium 286 ICC Loop Rd. Spindale, NC

Cleveland County hearing Boiling Springs Town Hall, 114 E. College Ave, Boiling Springs, NC

North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has finally released the long-awaited draft priority classifications for state’s 14 coal ash dumpsites. Sadly, DEQ has not recommended the coal ash dumps at Cliffside in Rutherford and Cleveland Counties for complete cleanup, leaving the surrounding communities and all those downstream at risk from toxic pollution. Despite the fact that Cliffside’s coal ash has been polluting groundwater and the Broad River with unsafe amounts of toxic heavy metals for years, DEQ recommends two of the three for low priority classification–meaning they could be left in place on the banks of the Broad River to pollute our waters in perpetuity.

For more information go to  bit.ly/cleancliffside to arrange carpools or to send an email in your name.



Thursday, January 7th, 2016
Written by Deborah

Energy Conservation

We’re still burning coal in our local Duke plant until 2020! This coal comes from blowing the tops off of the most diverse mountains in North America. Birth defects are 42% higher in these Appalachian mining communities than the rest of the US http://ilovemountains.org/the-human-cost. Ground water near mountain top removal coal operations is unusable. Help us reduce the use of coal now and show Duke we don’t need the mega-size natural gas plant they plan to build to replace the coal burning plant. Please go to the conservation section and consider some ideas on saving energy.