Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest Plan

This article in the Smokey Mountain News looks at the draft forest plan for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest, which is “still nearly a year away.”

“I can’t commend the Forest Service enough on how they’ve rolled this out and how transparent they’ve been,” said David Whitmire, a hunter and outfitter who is also a member of the Stakeholders Forum for the Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision. “I think it’s fantastic.” 

The three main management types form a sort of gradient across the forest. Interface areas, generally about 1 mile wide, follow existing roads and are the places where human impact and population are likely to be the highest. The matrix area contains the most acreage and serves as a “connective tissue” between the interface and the backcountry. The backcountry, meanwhile, is managed to be remote and often roadless, with large blocks of relatively undisturbed forest.

2 Comments

  1. I think I mentioned in another thread that this kind of management area system (3 levels/degrees of active management) seems to work well for doing planning; the public gets it. It’s especially helpful to recognize the influence of “interface” areas on management. Of course it’s going to be most important to everyone how many and which parts of the forest are in each management area, but this helps with that discussion. It will also be important to identify land suitable for timber production within each management area, and “We’d like to see more clearly stated guidelines from the Forest Service on how that does occur in those places.”

    • I should add that it’s also important to identify areas suitable for use of timber harvest as a management tool, and circumstances under which salvage harvest may occur on lands that are suitable for either timber production or harvest.

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