December’s Letter from the Editor: Speak for the Trails

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Want to keep fracking chemicals out of your favorite swimming hole? Wanna protect your favorite forest from being logged? How about making sure your favorite trails aren’t bulldozed?

The U.S. Forest Service is rewriting its plans for the largest national forest system in the South—the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. This new plan will guide how these public lands are managed for the next two decades.

It’s not just your next adventure that’s at stake. Forest management may sound boring, but it affects every gulp of water and breath of air you take.

Extractive timber, mining, and fracking industries are already well represented in the forest planning process and are lobbying heavily to exploit our forests. So far, the recreation community has been out-shouted. About 700,000 acres, or an area larger than Great Smoky Montains National Park—will be opened to logging.

If you want to protect the places where you play, now is the time to step up. Tell the U.S. Forest Service to protect your public lands from commercial logging, mining, and fracking. Ask the Forest Service to designate more wilderness, permanently protect roadless areas, build and maintain more trails, and safeguard the health of our rivers and headwaters.

Most importantly, as population swells in the Southeast, we need more public lands and stronger protections for them. Popular areas will become overused and degraded without expanding the national forest boundaries.

Email your comments to the Forest Service at comments-southern-north-carolina@fs.fed.us

Make yourself heard. Be a voice for the trees, the trails, and the wild places you love.

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