The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to log over 2,000 acres in the North Mills River watershed. Called the Brtushy Ridge Project, it would clear-cut and thin mature forests near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Averys Creek, and the North Mills River Recreation Area. Dozens of some of the most popular trails, streams, and camping areas will be affected.
The North Mills River is a source of drinking water for Buncombe and Henderson Counties, is one of North Carolina’s most popular trout fishing streams, contains a population of rare hellbenders and other rare aquatic life, and is home to the Foster Creek Bog, one or the few bogs remaining in the North Carolina mountains and one of such high quality that it provides habitat for state and federally listed rare, threatened and endangered species. The mature forests offer scenic views from the Blue Ridge Parkway nearby.
In addition to these activities, the Forest Service is proposing to build two miles of new roads and reconstruct 3 miles of old roads that have grown up in forest and add them to the transportation system, making them permanent avenues which could be used for future logging operations.
More information can be found here.