Front Porch Blog

Blowing Rock, NC Vs. THE GLOBE!!! (…update and marching orders!)

(H/T Chris Joyell)

Momentum is building for a bill that would designate 20,175 acres of the Pisgah National Forest as the Grandfather National Scenic Area (GNSA). In addition to protecting the Globe Forest, this designation would also permanently protect the views lie along the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Grandfather Mountain area in Avery County and extend through the Town of Blowing Rock in Watauga and Caldwell Counties. A summary of the bill and talking points are provided below.


– Of the 20,175 acres proposed for scenic designation, just over a
third of this forest currently remains unprotected from logging.

– By the Forest Service’s own estimates, recreation in the Pisgah/Nantahala National Forests contributes 9.4 times more jobs and 7.6 times more income to local economies than timber.

– The Blue Ridge Parkway is the National Park Service’s most popular destination, drawing over 20 million visitors annually.

– Over 5 billion dollars come into North Carolina every year from tourists driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. .

The idea for a National Scenic Area was conceived in a Blowing Rock Town Council meeting on August 10th, which was held to hear concerns from property owners over the proposed Globe Forest Timber Sale.

After news of the proposed Forest Service logging and herbicide use in the Globe Forest was announced, the agency received over a thousand letters and emails from property owners and other members of the public.

Unfortunately, Rep. Virginia Foxx, in a brief press release, expressed concern that the designation wasn’t necessary. In her own words…

“Any legislation is premature. The heart of the issue is getting all the facts straight. [We] are waiting to hear from the Forest Service and constituents.”

You heard her!

The GNSA bill needs a sponsor and Rep. Foxx is our obvious choice in the House and Senator Elizabeth Dole is the obvious sponsor in the Senate. But if they are going to be supportive of such a designation, then they are going to have to hear from you.


Immediately call every elected representative on the enclosed list.

Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
Arjun Mody, Legislation Assistant
Phone 202-224-6342
Fax 202-224-1100

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
Phone: (202) 224-3154
Fax: (202) 228-2981

Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R)(NC-5)
Steve Holton, Legal Assistant
Phone: 202-225-2071
Fax: 202-225-2995

Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-10th District)
Phone 202-225-2576
Fax 202-225-0316

Write letters to every newspaper around, both near and far. Talking points are provided below. Here are the contacts for all the regional and local papers that have given coverage to this story thus far.

Regional Papers:
Charlotte Observer

Winston-Salem Journal

Raleigh News and Observer

Asheville Citizen-Times

Local Papers:
The Mountain Times (for snail-mail
instructions, only – no email submissions accepted)

High Country News
Contact Kathleen McFadden, Managing Editor:

Watauga Democrat
Jason Reagan, Editor:

Blowing Rocket
Jerry Burns, Editor: blowingrocket@wataugademocrat

Summary of the Grandfather National Scenic Area Bill:
Support the bill to designate the Grandfather National Scenic Area, a 20,175 acre scenic area along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain and the Town or Blowing Rock. The scenic area is on the public lands of the Pisgah National Forest. For decades past and for decades into the future, the U.S. Forest Service plans to log this area, which is ruining it for millions of Americans who come to see the scenic views. This bill will designate the area as unsuitable for timber production.

Here are some talking points:

Right Thing To Do
Tell them you support the bill to designate the Grandfather National Scenic Area. It is the right thing to do and you are depending on them to do the right thing. The area deserves the high level of protection the bill will provide. There is no down side to this designation.

Private Property Rights
This bill will protect the private property rights of all residents who own property with views. It will protect developers investments. It will not affect the private property rights of landowners in and around the public property. It will not affect roads.

Public Property Rights
This bill protects the public’s right to their National Forest from being damaged from “special interest groups” who want to cut it down.

Good Economically
It is good for business, tourism, recreation, responsible for billions of dollars to our local and state economy. Blowing Rock deserves it. There is no down side to this proposal. It is good for the Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain and all the surrounding areas. It will bring national attention to our area.

Good for the Forest Service
It will allow the Forest Service to protect communities from fire, to manage for invasive species, and will lower their need to waste taxpayer money subsidizing the timber industry.

All Legal Traditional Uses Will Continue
No roads will be closed. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, will continue as usual.

Conservation is a Conservative Value
This is not a party issue. It is good for democrats and republicans.

No elected representative should have any reason NOT to support this. Their job is to listen to the democratic mandate of the pubic and implement the will of the majority.





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