Front Porch Blog


The USDA Forest Service has denied the administrative appeals of the forest plans for five
Southern Appalachian national forests, more than two years after they were filed by
environmentalists challenging increased timber harvests. Forest Service Chief Dale
Bosworth upheld revised plans for Virginia’s Jefferson National Forest, Tennessee’s
Cherokee National Forest, Georgia’s Chattahoochee/Onocee National Forest, South
Carolina’s Sumter National Forest and the national forests of Alabama. The Southern
Environmental Law Center and other environmental groups appealed the plans, saying the
Forest Service failed to adequately analyze the increase in logging and road building on
watersheds in the South. Under the Bush administration’s roadless petition plan, governors
must nominate inventoried roadless areas in national forests for continued protection from
road building, logging, oil and gas drilling, mining or other development. If no petitions are
filed, or they are rejected, the forest plans will govern activities in those areas. To date, the
Agriculture Department has accepted petitions to protect roadless areas in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, and environmentalists are lobbying governors in states such as Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi to file petitions by the November deadline.

Courtesy of Pinchot Institute





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