Southside story: Bid awarded in contentious timber project

Five years after it first proposed the controversial Southside Timber Project, the U.S. Forest Service has awarded a timber bid to cut the first 98 acres of 317 acres to be harvested — earning sharp criticism from environmental groups who say the project will destroy rare old-growth forest. 

‘A Herculean feat’: Forest Service aims to satisfy objections in last round of plan revisions

A decade of meetings, hearings, comments, debate and disagreement over the future of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests culminated in a three-day meeting marathon last week that aimed to resolve hundreds of objections over the plan’s handling of everything from old growth to drinking water.

Crowds rally for forest protections

More than 300 people gathered outside the U.S. Forest Service headquarters in Asheville Monday, Aug. 1, to urge stronger protections for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest as the Forest Service finalizes the plan to guide forest management for the next two decades.

Remembering Lake Logan

One of the most beautiful settings in Western North Carolina is Lake Logan, a sizable body of water captured between steep-forested mountainsides in southern Haywood County. Champion Fibre Company constructed this reservoir in 1932 on the West Fork of the Pigeon River — a tributary of the Pigeon River. Their primary purpose for doing this was to supplement the flow of water to the pulp and paper mill in Canton, especially during dry periods of low rainfall. 

Final decision reached on Buck Project

The U.S. Forest Service has signed the final decision notice for the Buck Project, which will encompass more than 32 square miles on the Nantahala National Forest’s Tusquitee Ranger District in eastern Clay County.

The project will use commercial timber sales toward the goal of providing young forest habitat and producing more oak and hickory trees over time. It will also use prescribed burning to promote the unique Serpentine Barrens and aim to improve water resource conditions through stream improvement projects. 

Logging has always been dangerous work

Steam and water-powered sawmills were established here in the Smokies region during the 1870s and 1880s. But full-fledged industrialized logging didn't commence until after the construction of the major railroads was finalized in the 1890s. This opened the region for profitable use by big time interests like Champion Fiber Company, Ritter Lumber Company, and others. These companies hired local men by the hundreds to fell, move and process timber.

Planning begins for logging project in Haywood

out frRound tables and large, neon sticky notes characterized last week’s kickoff of a planning process to cut timber and create elk habitat in a remote corner of northeastern Haywood County.  

About 50 people representing groups including the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, MountainTrue, The Nature Conservancy, the Ruffed Grouse Society and Haywood County government — among a host of others — found their way to the room at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, taking a seat on the large circle of chairs waiting for them.

Serena a thrilling mix of history and fiction for locals in the know

fr rontableLittle bits of local lore riddle the pages of Ron Rash’s Serena.

“As a fiction writer I know I am going to get things wrong, but you do the best you can to get those details as correct as possible,” Rash said. “If we can get enough things right, I think it allows the reader to stay in the dream. Very specific, authentic details allow the reader to believe everything else that is being made up.”

The logging legacy unchained: In Serena, Rash lays bare the real story of the Smokies timber boom

coverIt’s been nearly a century since the logging boom swept across Appalachia, but the story is timeless, forever engraved on the landscape and in the psyche of mountain people.

“It permanently and irrevocably changed the entire face of Western North Carolina,” said Jason Brady, a special collections librarian at Western Carolina University.

SEE ALSO:
Serena a thrilling mix of history and fiction
Hollywood take on novel a flop?
Critics be damned, I’m watching it anyway

Forest Service backs off planning timeline

fr forestryIt wasn’t long before the management planning process for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests got heated and emotional, eventually causing the U.S. Forest Service to ease up on its original goal of releasing a draft plan this June.  

Page 1 of 2
Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.