National Scenic Areas Near and Far—

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edfrank
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National Scenic Areas Near and Far—

Post by edfrank » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:22 pm

National Scenic Areas Near and Far—A Path for the High Country?
Story by Randy Johnson
July 21, 2011

http://www.highcountrypress.com/weekly/ ... nd-far.htm
On this 100th anniversary of the 1911 law that created the eastern national forests, North Carolina can be proud to claim the very first of those federal forests, Pisgah. National Scenic Areas—a designation being proposed right now for 25,500 acres of Pisgah National Forest below Grandfather Mountain—came much later, with the 1986 designation of the Columbia River Gorge NSA in Oregon and Washington. There are fewer than a dozen National Scenic Areas in the United States, and three of them are in Virginia. As High Country residents entertain a proposal to bestow Scenic Area status on forests below the Blue Ridge Parkway, let’s look at recent NSAs designated in Virginia, and the very first, in the Pacific Northwes
Pisgahsign_2.jpg
This is the second article of a multipart series. The first article can be found here: http://www.highcountrypress.com/weekly/ ... e-view.htm
This is the first week of a collaborative, multi-part series about efforts to create a Grandfather National Scenic Area in the Pisgah National Forest between Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain, which, among other things, would bar timber harvests. Click to http://www.highcountrypress.comfor photos, videos and more features dedicated to this series.

Map of the proposed Grandfather Mountain National Scenic Area:
http://www.highcountrypress.com/weekly/ ... father.htm
GNSAMap.jpg
http://www.highcountrypress.com/weekly/ ... NSAMap.jpg

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bbeduhn
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Re: National Scenic Areas Near and Far—A Path for the High C

Post by bbeduhn » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:30 am

North Carolina has a multitude of what are called Mountain Treasures. Some of these roadless areas have been nominated for Wilderness status but have failed to pass in Congress. Scenic Areas are a little less retrictive but still provide nearly the same level of protection. I certainly hope that the Globe proposal goes through and opens the floodgates for more scenic areas. It simply makes sense to let most of our National Forest land grow to maturity and beyond.

Another sensible proposal would be for harvest areas to be established, which could be used to harvest every so many years, thus protecting the remainder of National Forests from any harvesting whatsoever. Naturally, these areas would be away from old growth, wilderness, scenic, etc. there is room for compromise but there's no sense in compromising any extant old growth whatsoever. The Globe Forest has a substantial amount of old growth. There's no reason why we should have to continue battling potential old growth timber harvesting.

That picture certainly is worth a thousand words and a plethora of trees.

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Don
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Re: National Scenic Areas Near and Far—A Path for the High C

Post by Don » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:49 pm

bbedduhn-
Your moderate approach is appreciated, and fits with a good strategy embraced by Conservation Biologists. Older approaches that essentially would go across an entire forest over a predetermined 'rotation' (say 100 years) made sense only in a short-term economic approach. Our past legislatures, lobbyists, and timber industry saw nothing beyond the dollar sign on the tip of their noses. And that was during the best (we thought then!) of economic times...they could have done so much better.

My question? It's my guess that the area behind the above photo was entirely that of private ownership, and then was liquidated? Much like the Redbird Purchase Unit on the Daniel Boone National Forest, the USFS came in after the fact, and then began the process of reforestation. My point? In these two instances, the USFS were the good guys. In 1965, the USFS purchased lands previously owned, managed for resource extraction by Peabody Coal (strip mined) or Ford (timber). By 1987, I was there with 40 pound sacks of limestone on my back, spreading lime by hand on strip pits, along with grass seed and fertilized in subsequent visits. Locusts were planted where slopes benefited by their soil retentive capacity. We were making a difference.

-Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: National Scenic Areas Near and Far—A Path for the High C

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:40 am

I have a book published circa the late 20s about backpacking in the Black Mountains of NC (given to me by my father-in-law). It has some really strikingly hideous panorama shots of the Black Mountains (of NC) showing the endless desolation that was once the Appalachian high country. Nothing but mowed down forests as far as the eye could see.

At one of the National Forest visitors centers near Tellico Junction TN, there are some good historical shots of what the Bald River Gorge Wilderness looked like after the timber companies had gone through there. Nothing left growing, pretty much. Now it's lush forest. 100 years of recovery.

Jim Scheff
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Re: National Scenic Areas Near and Far—A Path for the High C

Post by Jim Scheff » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:35 pm

Much like the Redbird Purchase Unit on the Daniel Boone National Forest, the USFS came in after the fact, and then began the process of reforestation.
Unfortunately, the Forest Service a few years back decided to shift management of the largest contiguous block of the Redbird District to short, even-aged rotations, misapplying studies on the Ruffed Grouse to justify heavy logging and clearcutting in mature forest stands. The project was called the Group One Redbird Project - approved in 2008 I think. It's a particular shame in that area, as an enormous amount of the surrounding area has been impacted by strip mining (and logging on private land) and mature forest is becoming less common.

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Don
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Re: National Scenic Areas Near and Far—

Post by Don » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:30 pm

Jim
Sorry to hear that.
Having spent four sweat-jerking, poison ivy-ridden, chigger-infested, lightning bug-laden years in the woods of the Redbird, I had the opportunity to visit, or be in sight of most all of the 'Bird's' compartments/stands. One that I didn't visit was one of the more remote, and it's rumored "old-growth' status taunted me. Not threatened as it was considered low-grade, hard to mill, and would have required a road to be constructed, I had assumed it would be safe. Now, perhaps not?
I did forestall the harvest of a nice stand of hemlock along the South Fork of the Kentucky River, in very eastern Kentucky, but can't imagine it surviving the recent attacks of the wooly adelgid...
As to the rest of the Redbird and adjacent timber, I'd be hard pressed to call much of it mature timber, much of it having been logged at least once in the last century. How does mature timber get defined these days?
Don
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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