The recommendations from the Stoney Creek Flooding Advisory Committee could be widely misinterpreted, said Clinch Coalition president Detta Davis in a recent letter to Congressman Boucher. The Stoney Creek Advisory Committee recently concluded and the committee issued a set of statements and recommendations for future management in the Stoney Creek watershed with regard to the flooding issue.
In the letter, Ms. Davis said, “Timber cutting was not just one of many contributors to the Stoney Creek flood. Second only to the rain itself, timber cutting was the major contributor to the multiple slides and heavy erosion that made the flood of June 30, 2001 such a killer. We presented abundant evidence that this is so. Most of that timber cutting was planned and supervised by the Forest Service”.
Evidence submitted in Boucher’s committee included an analysis by Dr. Robert L. Krystock that showed the risk of landslides was 81 times greater where previous logging occurred within the study area. Dr. Krystock’s study will be presented at the Regional Coalfield Water Resource Symposium at UVA’s College at Wise on September 4, 2002.
The committee also recommended that stakeholders assess the feasibility of a multiple-use National Recreation Area designation within the Clinch Ranger District. The Clinch Coalition wants an NRA that ends present timbering practices.
She also said that the Coalition is appalled, though not surprised, by the refusal of the Forest Service to take responsibility for their actions on Stoney Creek or to plan more modern, sustainable forestry to protect both the watershed and the public. “We will not relent in our determination to prevent further destructive timbering on High Knob mountain,” Davis said.
Davis concluded by appealing to Congressman Boucher for his help. “We urge you now to champion a High Knob National Recreation Area that might truly address the needs of the forest, the watershed, and the citizens you represent. We will do our best to protect our forest and our people. To succeed, we will need your clear and vigorous assistance.”