Hikers, fishermen and environmentalists won a small victory last week in an on-going tug-of-war with paddlers over the upper Chattooga River — a Wild and Scenic River that tumbles off the Cashiers plateau.

My Chattooga?

Controversy over a paddling ban on the upper Chattooga River attracted more than 125 people to a public meeting in Highlands last week held by the U.S. Forest Service.

Paddlers are challenging the 30-year-old ban, while fishermen, hikers, birdwatchers and other wilderness solitude seekers are lobbying to keep the ban in place. The forest service is conducting a two-year study to determine whether the ban is justified.

The Sumter National Forest has fired back at American Whitewater, a paddling organization that is challenging a ban on paddling the upper Chattooga River.

The Chattooga is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River that tumbles off the Cashiers Plateau and into the Sumter National Forest of South Carolina.

By Bruce Hare • Guest Columnist

In response to your article (“Tug of War over the Chattooga River,” May 31 Smoky Mountain News), I would like to thank you for reporting on an issue that is important to me and I think your coverage was balanced and fair.

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