Help protect NC’s National Forests!

Thanks to our partners at the NC Conservation Network for this action alert to preserve and protect our National Forests and wild areas! Please consider taking action.

Linville Gorge/Dennis Oakley

More than one million acres of western North Carolina lies in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. Ensuring that that land is managed properly for people and nature is vital to its future. This is why we’re hoping you can help.

Tell the US Forest Service (USFS) to update their forest management plans for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests: http://action.ncconservationnetwork.org/ncnationalforests

In a nutshell, the USFS has plans in place for how they manage every National Forest across the country, and these plans only get revised once every 15-20 years. In North Carolina, the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests plans are currently in the process of being revised by the USFS.

In order to improve these plans, we’re asking the USFS to make these changes:

  • Make ecological restoration the overarching goal of the new plan
  • Restore forest types that are the most departed from their historical condition
  • Prevent fragmentation of important core forests
  • Return fire to the landscape, including wilderness areas, through the use of controlled burning
  • Protect old growth forests from commercial logging
  • Manage the forest to protect 36 ecologically important areas identified by the NC Natural Heritage Program

This is a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to influence the management of huge chunks of conservation land in western North Carolina. Urge the USFS to make the recommendations above and protect these beautiful forests: http://action.ncconservationnetwork.org/ncnationalforests

Thanks,

Brittany Iery
NC Conservation Network

For More Information:

1. Western North Carolina Alliance: Have your say about the future of the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests!

Save North Carolina’s Hofmann Forest – The Largest University Forest in the World

Please join me in signing a petition to save Hofman Forest!

For more information or to help with this campaign, contact Ron Sutherland at ron@wildlandsnetwork.org.

To learn more about the Hofman Forest, check out the great interactive active map below and the two recent updates about the sale.

Hofman Forest Map

Here are two recent updates about the sale of this North Carolina treasure.

NCSU ponders making Hofmann Forest error

Problem is, word leaked a while back that NCSU’s powers-that-be want to trade the forest to the Walker Agriculture Group of Illinois for a truckload of cash. The news got the school’s forestry professors and student body up in arms, not to mention conservationists and ecologists.

The real fly in the punch bowl is a development plan that includes roads, houses, shopping centers, a golf course and thousands of logged, crushed, burned, ripped and plowed acres to be planted in corn. Once “the plan” became public, the Wuffies denied they’d designed it, and the Walker group denied they’d made it. Walker also now denies any sort of “development” will occur at Hofmann Forest, but the terms of the sale don’t preclude the company doing whatever it wishes.

Because the White Oak and New rivers flow through Hofmann, development on a landscape scale almost certainly will cause trouble downstream: erosion, polluted water, high bacteria counts, beach closures. The Castle Hayne Aquifer that provides fresh water to several communities could also be affected. The forest acts as a filtering agent to prevent bad stuff from getting into the aquifer, the rivers, fish and, ultimately, the Atlantic Ocean.

and

Opponents to forest sale await rulings on assessment

The university has contended that the land is not “public” and not subject to the environmental assessment requirement under the State Environmental Policy Act, but Sutherland and the others have noted that the land has not been subject to taxation and that the state attorney general, Roy Cooper, has said he was obligated to handle the case for the university.

The university also faces a pending investigation by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which is examining findings by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that indicate illegal wetlands ditching and draining has taken place in the forest.

While the university and Hofmann Forest LLC have contended the forest would be protected under the original sale, opponents have said there was nothing firm about that in the sale agreement, nor in the new one, and have pointed to leaked buyers’ prospectus circulated by Hofmann LLC to attract investors.

The prospectus mentioned the possibility of up to 2 million square feet of commercial development, possible construction of up to 10,500 residential units and the high-quality soils that would be conducive to farming if the trees were removed. The school and the LLC disavowed that prospectus.

“Also, consider this thought experiment,” Sutherland (Ron Sutherland, a conservation scientist for the Wildlands Network) said. “If another large tract of existing public forest, such as Croatan or Pisgah National Forest, were suddenly placed up for sale – of course we would fight such a plan tooth and nail – (and) if the relevant government leaders then announced a new plan where only one-fourth of the forest would be destroyed for sure, and the rest only ‘possibly,’ would anyone call that a victory for conservation? No, absolutely not. That would be a huge net loss of public forestland that citizens would find unacceptable. That is the alternative being proffered by NCSU now, with their revised Hofmann sale agreement, and we continue to reject their flawed premise that some loss of public forest is a necessary outcome of this situation.”

Please join me in signing a petition to save Hofman Forest!

Thanks, and spread the word to your friends on Facebook, etc!

 

 

Sierra Club on the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Take the time to watch this very good and short video about the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. It will definitely make you want to  Sign Up Today for the NC Sierra Club Wilderness Weekend!

On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law one of our country’s greatest conservation laws, the Wilderness Act. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wild lands for the use and enjoyment of the American people. Over the past 50 years, and as a result of America’s support for wilderness, Congress has added nearly 100 million more acres to this unique land preservation system—in 44 out of 50 states. The 1964 Wilderness Act defines “Wilderness” as areas “where the earth and its community of life …appear to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable…”

Wilderness Interviewees

Forest Service to Host Uwharrie National Forest Trail Strategy Meeting – Sept 18

If you spend anytime over in the Uwharrie you know it is a special place. The Salisbury Post just ran this article about the endangered and threatened species being studied there – Researchers use Uwharrie National Forest as living lab.  On the same page as the article are 2 sidebars worth reading – “Archaeology, anthropology research significant” and “A little history with your hike”.

If you want to be a part of the long term planning and use of the forest, plan to attend the meeting. For more information or to get on the email distribution list, contact:

Theresa Stevens Savery (Terry)
District Recreation Staff Supervisor
National Forests in North Carolina
Uwharrie National Forest
789 NC Hwy 24/27 East
Troy, NC 27371-9332
Phone #: 910-576-6391 x 102
Cell #: 910-975-0274
Email: tsavery@fs.fed.us

Uwharrie Trail Meeting

Forest Service to Host Trail Strategy Meeting

TROY, N.C., Sept. 10, 2014 – The USDA Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina today announced that it will host a workshop on Sept. 18 to address management of non-motorized and motorized recreation trails across the Uwharrie National Forest. The meeting will be held 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Garner Center, 210 Burnette St., Troy, N.C.

Representatives from a wide range of trail-user groups, individuals who represent local communities and ecotourism, or individuals not represented by larger user groups are invited to collaborate in the process, which is expected to take up to a year to complete. The result will be recommendations for a comprehensive trail management plan for the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina, along with a stronger community of volunteers to assist with these efforts.

The Forest Service initiated this process because use of forest trails in North Carolina is increasing every year. Resources used to maintain trails have been static or decreasing. The emphasis will be on high-quality experiences on sustainable trail systems. The trail strategy is the next step in implementing the Land and Resource Management Plan for the Uwharrie National Forest, which called for designated non-motorized and motorized trails.

With more than120 miles of system trails, the Uwharrie National Forest encompasses 50,000-plus acres in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc for more information.

Sierra Club-wide call on the EPA Clean Power Plan – Sept 10

Sierra Club Aim Higher

Greetings Sierra Club staff and volunteers! We are writing to invite you to a Sierra Club-wide call on the EPA Clean Power Plan, and to provide you with a couple of new resources to support your advocacy in the weeks ahead.
 
First, mark your calendars for a call Wednesday, Sept. 10. Join us at either 2:00pm or 8:00pm ET, whichever works best for your schedule, at the following number: 866-501-6174, code 107-397-1913. We’ll update you on the latest developments around the Clean Power Plan, share the work of some chapters and volunteers from around the country, and have policy experts on the line to answer your questions.
 
Second, below you’ll find three resources to support your advocacy on the Clean Power Plan:
  • One page fact sheet: An overview of the Clean Power Plan and the historic opportunity it creates for us to build a clean energy roadmap in all 50 states.
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ): Answers some of the questions that have been rolling in from staff and volunteers around the nation.
  • Strengthening document: An overview of our latest thinking on areas where the rule needs to be strengthened.
 
We’ll share an agenda for the call as the date gets closer – in the meantime, mark your calendars and keep sending along your needs and questions around the Clean Power Plan. And thanks for all your great work!
 
Mary Anne Hitt
Director, Beyond Coal Campaign
Sierra Club
 
 
 

Celebrate Wilderness! Sept 26-27 at Morrow Mountain State Park

What does Wilderness mean to you?

Come celebrate our North Carolina and national wilderness areas at a very special location so near to Charlotte – Morrow Mountain State Park!

Come for the day, the evening, or plan to join us Friday and Saturday as we camp in this beautiful setting.

Activities include canoeing, hiking, service, birding, fishing, star-gazing and a special guided tour of the Kron restoration. Our Friday dinner and program will be a fun and inspiring look at the past, present and future of our wilderness areas.

For questions or more information, contact Nancy Card, NC Wilderness Celebration Chair at OurWildNC@gmail.com or 910-540-3088

Sign up today for our state wide Sierra Club Wilderness Celebrationhttps://ncsierrawilderness50celebration.eventbrite.com.

Wilderness Celebration FlyerNC Sierra Wilderness 50 Celebration Invitation

P.S. Don’t miss out on this special event! Sign up today for our state wide Sierra Club Wilderness Celebrationhttps://ncsierrawilderness50celebration.eventbrite.com.

Tell the EPA to Stop Our Forests from Going Up in Smoke

Thanks to Adam Macon, Campaign Director, Our Forests Aren’t Fuel, at the Dogwood Alliance for providing this action alert.

Hi friends,

Right now, utilities in the U.S. are lining up to burn trees for electricity, releasing dangerous carbon pollution into the air and devastating hundreds of thousands of acres of Southern forests.

The science is clear: when power plants chop down our forests and burn them for electricity, it’s even dirtier than burning coal.

Protect our forests. Tell the EPA to stop our forests from going up in smoke.


Protect our forests from going up in smoke.

Burning our forests for fuel contributes heavily to climate change, and it also destroys one of our best tools to fight it: the trees that help absorb carbon emissions.

The EPA promised to analyze the climate impacts of burning trees and other organic matter for energy three years ago, and it took a lawsuit by us and our allies to force them to follow through.

We knew our science was right. The EPA’s own panel of science experts agreed and has told the agency to account for carbon pollution from utilities that burn trees.

But we’re still waiting on these rules. Tell the EPA to follow the science and protect our forests.

With the new rules from the EPA on carbon emissions, we’re getting closer to curbing carbon pollution. But we can’t let false solutions to climate change like fracking and biomass get a free pass, ignoring how dirty and unsustainable it is to burn our trees.

For our forests and communities,

Adam Macon