The U.S. Forest Service has completed its review of 891 objections to the Pisgah-Nantahala forest management plan it released a year ago, clearing the final hurdle to implement the first new forest plan since 1987.
More than 300 people gathered outside the U.S. Forest Service headquarters in Asheville Monday, Aug. 1, to urge stronger protections for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest as the Forest Service finalizes the plan to guide forest management for the next two decades.
The 60-day objection period for the Pisgah-Nantahala Forest Management Plan is now over, and while there’s not yet an official tally of how many people are contesting the final plan, it’s safe to say it’s a high number.
A decade after convening the first meetings to discuss the impending process, the U.S. Forest Service has released a semi-final version of the plan that will govern management of the 1.04-million-acre Pisgah and Nantahala national forests for the next 15 to 20 years.
In the midst of a summer characterized by coronavirus-related disruptions on top of the closing of the public comment phase for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest’s much-awaited forest management plan, two new hires have taken the reins in key leadership positions overseeing management of these public lands.
The atmosphere inside the Lake Logan Conference Center was more akin to a reunion of friends than to a gathering of business associates as members of the Stakeholders Forum for the Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision arrived Wednesday, Feb. 26 — and perhaps there’s good reason for that.
An infestation of destructive emerald ash borers has been confirmed in the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest and on private lands along the French Broad River, extending from Marshall to the Tennessee state line.