To the Editor:
It’s good to see Haywood County leaders talking sense about landslide hazard mapping instead of stoking the fires of misinformation and conspiracy that exist in other parts of the region. The county commissioners are to be commended for recognizing the value that landslide hazard mapping brings in terms of public safety, landowner education, and the easy-to-understand need to use different building techniques in different areas. This is a common sense approach that elected leaders in the region — particularly those in the state House and Senate — should adopt.
The landslide hazard mapping program, which was just eliminated by the new legislature, was about providing the kind of information Haywood County leaders want, information that would protect residents and protect the significant investments they make in their homes. By helping people avoid high hazard landslide areas and debris flow pathways or helping them identify areas where they need to build differently, these maps would also help protect our beautiful mountains, forests, and rivers from the long-lasting scars of landslides.
Those who allege these maps were a back door to regulation that would prohibit development are more interested in their self-interested political agenda than the safety of their neighbors and the welfare of their community. Let’s put community and safety first and ask the legislature to bring the landslide hazard mapping program back.
Julie V. Mayfield,
Western North Carolina Alliance