Archived Opinion

Stop destructive timber project

Stop destructive timber project

To the Editor:

I am writing to ask you to act in our behalf to suggest to your readers a modification to the proposed destructive Crossover Timber Project to protect old-growth forests, rare species, backcountry character, and water supplies. Managing for these traits, rather than acting against them, will improve the resilience of Nantahala National Forest and bring local and state agencies into alignment with the values of the broader community.

The destructive Crossover Timber Project as it is currently drafted would log 158 acres of the Ash Cove Backcountry area, 51 acres of North Carolina Natural Heritage Natural Areas and at least 98 acres of existing old-growth forests where the conservation organization MountainTrue has documented many trees over 200 years of age. The project would also permanently decommission the western half of the Snowbird Mountain Trail, which should be improved, not decommissioned. Our local recreation economy should be grown and leveraged for the benefit of surrounding communities.

Unfortunately, this is only the latest project on the Nantahala to disregard the collaborative recommendations of hunters, hikers, anglers, equestrians, timber companies and other forest users ahead of the release of the next forest management plan. It’s hard not to see this project as an act of hostility towards consensus management by Nantahala National Forest.

There is no reason for this project to be so contentious. We can protect sensitive areas, keep the Snowbird Trail open, and still successfully harvest timber from more than 1,000 acres in the Crossover Timber Project.

Please suggest the removal of old growth, Natural Heritage Areas, and the parts of the forest eligible for backcountry management from this and all future timber projects.

Julian Spain


Leave a comment


  • You are sounding quite hysterical.

    The area you mention is not going to be clear cut and ruined. The 8 year project is intended to reinvigorate the habitat through judicious and thoughtful management. Yes, some growth will be removed.

    posted by Jim

    Wednesday, 07/14/2021

  • Thank you!

    posted by Deni Gottlieb

    Sunday, 07/11/2021

  • I completely agree. Thanks for this article.

    posted by David Miner

    Friday, 07/09/2021

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