Final decision reached on Buck Project

The U.S. Forest Service has signed the final decision notice for the Buck Project, which will encompass more than 32 square miles on the Nantahala National Forest’s Tusquitee Ranger District in eastern Clay County.

The project will use commercial timber sales toward the goal of providing young forest habitat and producing more oak and hickory trees over time. It will also use prescribed burning to promote the unique Serpentine Barrens and aim to improve water resource conditions through stream improvement projects. 

Logging has always been dangerous work

Steam and water-powered sawmills were established here in the Smokies region during the 1870s and 1880s. But full-fledged industrialized logging didn't commence until after the construction of the major railroads was finalized in the 1890s. This opened the region for profitable use by big time interests like Champion Fiber Company, Ritter Lumber Company, and others. These companies hired local men by the hundreds to fell, move and process timber.

Planning begins for logging project in Haywood

out frRound tables and large, neon sticky notes characterized last week’s kickoff of a planning process to cut timber and create elk habitat in a remote corner of northeastern Haywood County.  

About 50 people representing groups including the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, MountainTrue, The Nature Conservancy, the Ruffed Grouse Society and Haywood County government — among a host of others — found their way to the room at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, taking a seat on the large circle of chairs waiting for them.

Serena a thrilling mix of history and fiction for locals in the know

fr rontableLittle bits of local lore riddle the pages of Ron Rash’s Serena.

“As a fiction writer I know I am going to get things wrong, but you do the best you can to get those details as correct as possible,” Rash said. “If we can get enough things right, I think it allows the reader to stay in the dream. Very specific, authentic details allow the reader to believe everything else that is being made up.”

The logging legacy unchained: In Serena, Rash lays bare the real story of the Smokies timber boom

coverIt’s been nearly a century since the logging boom swept across Appalachia, but the story is timeless, forever engraved on the landscape and in the psyche of mountain people.

“It permanently and irrevocably changed the entire face of Western North Carolina,” said Jason Brady, a special collections librarian at Western Carolina University.

SEE ALSO:
Serena a thrilling mix of history and fiction
Hollywood take on novel a flop?
Critics be damned, I’m watching it anyway

Forest Service backs off planning timeline

fr forestryIt wasn’t long before the management planning process for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests got heated and emotional, eventually causing the U.S. Forest Service to ease up on its original goal of releasing a draft plan this June.  

This is no time to devalue our wild heritage

op frBy Bill McLarney • Guest Columnist

We humans are highly skilled and devilishly clever. We can create ball fields, schools, prisons, highways, airports, strip malls, industrial parks, reservoir lakes, landfills, farms of all kinds, Superfund sites, babies  and sustainably managed timber lands — the list goes on. One of the few imaginable things we can’t make is what has come to be called wilderness.  So just maybe we shouldn’t destroy a whole lot more of it.

Forest users debate pros and cons of potential wilderness recommendations

fr wildernessOut of the gate, the U.S. Forest Service’s first stab at listing potential wilderness areas in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests met with criticism following its release in late November. 

Whether concerned about which areas were on the list, which weren’t or the timing of the release, nearly everybody had something negative to say about the wilderness inventory. 

Forests for the future: First glimmers of forest plan draw polarized reactions

fr forestryWhen Brent Martin emerged from the Forest Management Plan meeting in Franklin, the first glimpse into the direction that management in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests might take over the next few decades, he was upset. Shocked. Disbelieving, even.

The perversity of inanimate objects: logging then and now

Some steam and water-powered sawmills were established in the Smokies region during the 1870s and 1880s. But full-fledged industrialized logging didn’t commence until after the construction of the major railroads was finalized in the 1890s. This opened the region for profitable use by big time interests like Champion Fiber Company, Ritter Lumber Company, and others. These companies hired local men by the hundreds to fell, move, and process timber.

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