Last month, the Forest Service proposed leaving 70 percent of Big Ivy open to logging, including most of its old-growth forests.
A broad coalition of outdoor enthusiasts are fighting back. They believe most of Big Ivy should be permanently protected from logging, and they have organized a grassroots movement to protect one of the most ancient and magnificent forests in Appalachia.
Today, the Buncombe County Commissioners will vote on a resolution supporting an expanded wilderness for Big Ivy. If passed, it will support the first and only wilderness in Buncombe County, and it will protect some of the region’s most ancient forests and most celebrated vistas. The views from Craggy Gardens along the Blue Ridge Parkway are panoramas of the unscarred Big Ivy forest, and its old-growth forests are some of the largest in the East.
The wilderness recommendation will not affect any current uses of Big Ivy. Mountain biking, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing will all continue to be allowed. The boundaries have been carefully drawn so that all mountain bike trails will be outside of the recommended area. No roads or trails will be closed to anyone. The wilderness recommendation will simply prohibit logging and development in trail-less, high-elevation areas of Big Ivy where most of the old-growth forests are located.
Nearly everyone wants to keep Big Ivy just the way it is – wild, scenic, adventurous, and uncut.
Join the excitement this Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the County Commissioners Meeting in downtown Asheville (200 College Street, Suite 326). Free shirts and stickers will be available telling the commissioners and the Forest Service: Don’t Cut Big Ivy.
Big Ivy is one of the wildest and most ecologically significant portions of Pisgah National Forest, with big trees, big mountains, and big waterfalls. It is part of the highest mountain range east of the Mississippi River and shelters over 40 rare and endangered species. It also contains more old-growth forest than any Southern forest except Joyce Kilmer, and is just a short 25-mile drive from the city of Asheville. Big Ivy is a favorite area for hikers, mountain bikers, climbers, trail runners, horseback riders, hunters, anglers, and naturalists.
Visit friendsofbigivy.org for more information.