pisgah national forest 2012To make up for the Oct. 5 workshop that was cancelled by the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Forest Service has scheduled a series of “Need-For-Change” drop-in open houses at six locations.

The events will be from 4-7 p.m. on the following dates.

Please note that on Dec. 3, there are two open houses scheduled.

Marion Open House (Nov. 18):
McDowell Technical Community College
William Harold Smith Building (#19); Room 113
54 College Drive, Marion, NC 28752

Brevard Open House (Nov. 19):
Transylvania County Library
212 South Gaston Street
Brevard, NC 28712

Murphy Open House (Dec. 3):
Tri-County Community College, Enlowe Multi-Purpose Room
21 Campus Circle; Intersection of  US-141 and US-64
Murphy, NC 28906

Mars Hill Open House (Dec. 3):
Appalachian Ranger District Office
632 Manor Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Robbinsville Open House (Dec. 5):
Graham County Community Center
196 Knight Street
Robbinsville, NC 28771

Franklin Open House (Dec. 17):
Nantahala Ranger District
90 Sloan Road
Franklin, NC 28734

At the open houses, attendees will have the opportunity to submit written ideas for how the 1987 plan needs to be changed. U.S. Forest Service specialists will be on hand to assist, answer questions and listen to concerns.

Sample “Need-for-Change” statements were shared with the public in September and are available online HERE

For a paper copy, please call Heather Luczak at 828-257-4817. The sample also explains how you can share ideas via U.S. mail if you are not able to attend an in-person meeting.

Members of the public are invited to drop in at any time between 4 and 7 p.m.

There will be no formal presentations so you don’t need to arrive at 4 p.m., nor do you need to plan on staying for the entire time. 

Also, there is no need to attend more than one Open House, as they will all repeat the same format.

Members of the U.S. Forest Service Plan Revision Team will pull together all the ideas submitted into an organized and summarized set of statements about the need for change. All ideas will be tracked, so you will know what happens to your ideas, and the Forest Service will post the results on the Plan Revision website in the next few months.

For maps to each meeting location visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision?.

WNCA is providing the community with the below list of examples of “Needs for Change” in the Nantahala-Pisgah management plan. If you have any questions, please contact our public lands field biologist, Josh Kelly, at Josh@WNCA.org.

  • The 1987 plan and the 1995 amendment do not have goals for ecological restoration. There is a need to focus the new management plan on ecological restoration.  Focusing on ecological restoration will help to meet the needs of local forest products industries and early successional wildlife species with a minimum of impact on other uses.
  • There are many special biological areas that are unprotected in the current management plan.  There is a need to designate additional special biological areas in the new plan. 
  • The current management plan does not consider climate change.  There is a need to prepare the forest for climate change by making forest infrastructure more resilient to storms and by ensuring the connectivity of wildlife habitat. 
  • The 1987 plan and the 1995 amendment have not been completely implemented, there is a need to prioritize the new management plan so that it is implementable.
  • Declining federal budgets are putting pressure on Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest to reduce the infrastructure for recreation.  There is a need to work with citizens groups and local governments to ensure that the recreation infrastructure, which is so important to the local economy, is adequate to meet demands while protecting water quality and other resources.