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Protect and Restore the Pisgah National Forest!

From our friends at Wild South, please contact the Forest Service to help protect the national treasure that is the Pisgah:

Protect and Restore the Pisgah National Forest!

The Forest Service has released plans to log 1800 acres of the Pisgah National Forest in the Brushy Ridge area. This area located near the North Mill River is a beloved site for hunters, anglers, hikers, campers, and bikers. Wild South encourages all of its members to let the Forest Service know what you value most about this special place. We have included contact information and some helpful talking points for you to consider.

Talking Points:

* The North Mills River is one of the most popular trout streams in North Carolina, a source of drinking water for Buncombe and Henderson Counties, and has a notable population of rare hellbenders and other rare aquatic organisms. Therefore, protecting water quality is paramount.
* The Foster Creek Bog, locate din the project area, is one of the few and highest quality bogs in Pisgah National Forest and provides habitat for state and federally listed plants and animals. This area must be preserved.
* The forests of the area are notable for their maturity and the scenic vistas they provide from the Blue Ridge Parkway. All mature forests within view of the Parkway should be protected.
* The aquatic resources are currently being impacted by an over-built road system that is contributing sediment to local streams. A careful examination of the road system shoul be conducted. No new roads should be built.
* Non-native invasive plants (NNIPs) are dispersing along roadways deep into the forest interior and are damaging habitat for native plants and animals. A comprehensive NNIP control program should be incorporate din the project.
* Off-road vehicle use and non-native invasive plants (NNIPs) are damaging the Foster Creek Bog. These threats must be eliminated.
* Fire suppression is contributing to structural changes on ridge and slope forests resulting in a reduction of pine and oak regeneration. We recommend the Forest Service consider the ecological use of fire in the project area.
* The project should be based on ecological restoration: repairing damaged or degraded ecosystems. Fixing erosion problems, returning fire to appropriate forest types, native species re-introductions, NNIP control, and enhancing structural attributes in young or anthropogenic forests are all examples of legitimate and needed ecological restoration in the Brushy Ridge Project Area.
* We support activities that strive to increase the structural, species and age class diversity of individual stands without regenerating the entire stand.
* There are three white pine plantations that should be removed and replaced with native vegetation whether they are commercially valuable or not.
* We support and request that all old clearcuts in the project area be thinned to encourage a diverse mix of species and to hasten the development of physical diversity in those stands.
* We support converting some roads to trails and link them to existing trails to form an integrated trail network. priority should be given to enhancing recreational opportunities.

Here is a link to the Forest Service’s Scoping Notice with Maps.

You can contact the Forest Service at the following address:
Pisgah Ranger District
1001 Pisgah Hwy
Pisgah Forest, NC 27868-7721

Email your comments:
comments-southern-north-carolina-pisgah-pisgah@fs.fed.us

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