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Please Comment on Timber Production, Wilderness Designations, and Management Prescriptions in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests—Deadline extended to February 27, 2015

The USFS has extended the open comment period for proposed timber production and management prescriptions as part of the forest planning process for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. Timber production is defined on one of the USFS plan revision documents as “the purposeful growing, tending, harvesting and regeneration of regulated crops of trees to be cut into logs, bolts or other round sections for industrial or consumer use.”

Wilderness designations are the most restrictive forest use, and these areas exclude mountain biking from those areas. Management prescriptions describe the areas of National Forest land available for various uses, including forest habitat, backcountry, wilderness areas, rivers and recreation areas.

IMBA-SORBA is working with other user groups in the forest to develop a management plan that makes sense for all users. IMBA-SORBA’s position is as follows:

  1. IMBA-SORBA does not support USFS timber production in areas of the forest with heavy recreational use, including the Pisgah District, especially in the Davidson River and South Mills River areas. Timber production in these areas could negatively impact the backcountry mountain biking experience.
  1. IMBA-SORBA does not support the proposed Wilderness designation in the Pisgah and Grandfather Districts for Daniel Ridge, Laurel Mountain, Cedar Rock Mountain, South Mills River, Woods Mountain, and Jarrett Creek areas. These areas have a high concentration of trails and are heavily used for recreation, including mountain biking.  
  1. IMBA-SORBA requests that the USFS included the above-mentioned areas in a new National Recreation Area that that would give the land the maximum protection while allowing for mountain biking.
  1. IMBA-SORBA also supports a National Recreation Area designation in the Grandfather District that would include Harper’s Creek, Lost Cove, Woods Mountain and Jarrett Creek.

Please send your comments in support of our position to [email protected]. Comments should be sent no later than February 27, 2015.