Collaboration Forest Plan

Collaboration with Forest User Groups Participating in the Forest Plan Revision

Background:

In 2013 and 2014, the U.S. Forest Service is conducting a series of public meetings to gather public input to revise the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest Management Plan. The Management Plan will form the basis for important decisions in the management of our forests for the next fifteen years. The decisions that will be based on the Management Plan include where and how many miles of trails will be built or decommissioned, how trails will be maintained, how multiple uses of trails will be managed, where roads will be built, and what areas of the forest will be preserved for recreation, for logging, and for ecological protection.

At the same time, collaborative meetings, consisting of forest recreation, conservation, and environmental groups are also being held for the purpose of providing a more unified approach of ideas and recommendations to the U.S. Forest Service for the Management Plan Revision. Kristen Bail, Director of the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina, attended the most recent collaborative meeting and stressed that individuals speaking for organizations needed the organization?s backing. Members of CMC?s Conservation Committee are attending U.S. Forest Service meetings and collaborative meetings, and will present CMC?s formal position.

CMC Position on Pisgah / Nantahala National Forest Management Plan Revision, July 5, 2013

The Carolina Mountain Club (CMC) appreciates the opportunity to participate in the collaboration of Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest stakeholders. We would like the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest Management Plan Revision to:

1.) Preserve the natural appeal and solitude that hikers enjoy on the forest trails while enjoying the area?s majestic views, beautiful flowers, plants, trees, waterfalls, waterways, geology, birds, and other wildlife.

2.) Provide a logical system of hiking trails that includes loop hikes and long-distance hikes, as well as, access to points of interest and a wide variety of scenery and habitats.

3.) Accommodate the growing demand for recreation in Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests due to population growth in the western North Carolina area, the growing number of visitors to the area, and increasing interest in outdoor recreation.

4.) Protect viewsheds from the negative effects of timbering and, also, protect the trails? natural environment from timbering, erosion, and other disturbances.

5.) Actively support “Leave No Trace” principles.

6.) Manage trail use in order to protect trail tread.

7.) Manage trail use in order to protect the safety of all users.

8.) Actively ensure appropriate trail use.

9.) Protect trail tread from damage by machines, water, and erosion during Forest Service projects.

10.) Build trails in more remote areas that are less developed.

11.) Protect natural resources in trail environments, especially, in sensitive ecological areas, such as rare plants and streams.

12.) Take into consideration that, in addition to being a hiking club, CMC?s volunteer members contribute a huge amount of time constructing and maintaining a vast territory of western North Carolina?s hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail