The U.S. Forest Service is planning to install a gate on Wine Spring Road near Franklin after communications equipment housed less than a mile up the road at Wine Spring Gap was repeatedly stolen and vandalized. Damage has totaled $20,000 in losses, and one of the victims, Macon County Emergency Services, requested that the Forest Service do something about it.
Attendees at Cullowhee’s hearing on the proposed oil and gas rules Sept. 12 were overwhelmingly anti-fracking, but a small contingent of men showed up on a bus from Winstom-Salem — provided by the N.C. Energy Forum — wearing sky blue t-shirts bearing the words “Shale Yes.” Except, fracking opponents are saying, the men weren’t exactly informed proponents of the fossil fuel extraction practice.
“We want unannounced reviews and inspections by DENR. It’s like a drug test. You tell them they’re going to be drug tested? They’re clean. So we want unannounced inspections, number one. We want records kept for a minimum of 50 years, not 5 years. We want no wide-range variances on regulations. We don’t want favors given out to criminals that are fracking our land.”
— Louise Heath, Cherokee tribal member
Wireless communications companies could ultimately find Jackson County’s revised cell phone tower ordinance considerably more palatable than the stricter version that appeared to be shaping up this summer. The county planning board seems to be shying away from its previously discussed direction, questioning aspects of the ordinance detailing height and camouflage requirements for towers.