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Wednesday, 25 July 2007 00:00

What other towns have done

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• Bryson City recently conserved the old Lands Creek watershed, getting $1.5 million from the Clean Water trust fund to protect the 800-acre tract and $500,000 from a private donor. Bryson City’s conservation agreement allows hiking, hunting, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding and camping. It does not specifically mention mountain biking, but doesn’t outlaw it either.

• Canton recently conserved the old Rough Creek watershed, getting $689,000 from the Clean Water trust fund to protect the 870-acre tract and $400,000 from a private donor. While the conservation easement allows for hiking, camping and mountain biking, at this time the town does not allow general public access. The town is in the process of developing a master recreation plan for the watershed that will refine what forms of recreation are allowed in what areas.

• Waynesville recently conserved its Allens Creek watershed. The 8,000-acre area still provides the town and surrounding area with its drinking water. Waynesville will allow forest management. Mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, fishing and hunting are prohibited. The terms of the conservation easement allow for hiking should the town so choose, although the town currently does not allow public access for hiking. Waynesville is more strict about allowing recreation since the watershed is still actively serving as the drinking water supply for thousands of residents, unlike other towns where the old watersheds are no longer used for that purpose.

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