The Transylvania Times -

Sierra Club to Discuss Upcoming Forest Plan


September 23, 2019

The Pisgah Group of the Sierra Club welcomes Josh Kelly, public lands biologist for Mountain True, Thursday, September 26, at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the issues involved in the soon-to-be-released new Forest Management Plan for Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.

The planning process has been underway now for more than four years to replace the current management plan, which was modified and approved in 1994. In the interim, the planning process itself has been changed, mandating more public input, but also giving the Forest Service more freedom in its choices.

According to a Sierra Club news release, several new organizations, two of which involve both Mountain True and Sierra Club, have sprung up in response, meeting often with the Forest Service planning team, hoping to influence the process.

“As one would expect, with one million acres of forest involved, there are many users with sometimes opposing views on how forests should be managed. There are two fundamentally different views: One is that of an agricultural commodity producing timber, animals and roads for human use, (and sometimes minerals and grazing); and the other is that of an irreplaceable natural heritage representing eons of evolution and providing critical environmental services like clean air and water, and carbon dioxide removal,” said the release.

Kelly will review the forest plan content that has been released so far in the meeting – about the laws governing the planning process and his thoughts on what the public might expect to finally come out.

The discussion is timely; as the best guess is that a first draft will come out for public review and comment in October.

“All who treasure our forest should hear this talk to learn how they can interact with the planning process,” said the release.

The meeting will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church at the intersection of S. Broad and Varsity Streets, with a social time starting at 7:00 pm. Kelly’s presentation will begin at 7:30 PM.


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