The open houses will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on each of the days scheduled, with district rangers and members of the forest plan revision team present to answer questions. The format will be flexible, with the public able to come and go during the three-hour window.
- Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Nantahala Ranger District Office in Franklin.
- Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Cheoah Ranger District Office in Robbinsville.
- Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Tusquitee Ranger District Office in Murphy.
- Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Pisgah Ranger District Office in Brevard.
In addition, Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, will be holding a listening session with wilderness supporters at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Historic Haywood County Courthouse. Participation will be invitation-based, but the public is welcome to sit in.
During spring and summer, the Forest Service has been releasing draft plan materials for the emerging forest management plan, with additional materials to be posted this fall. While there is no formal comment period open now, the Forest Service is looking for feedback on the materials it’s released thus far to help guide future evolution of the plan. A formal comment period will open once a complete draft plan and alternative analysis are released.
“We expect to make changes before we complete the draft plan," said Michelle Aldridge, planning team lead. "Feedback will also help us shape our analysis. Specific feedback about desired changes, as well as information gaps is very useful at this stage.”
Portions of the draft plan completed thus far are online at http://bit.ly/1TI6AEz.