Largest timber project in Pisgah National Forest open for public comment

The Twelve Mile Project, one of the largest single timber sales in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, is now open for public comment. The draft environmental assessment for the project was released July 24 and will be open for 30 days. The public is invited to weigh in until August 23. 

According to the Citizen-Times, the draft shows a roughly 18,000-acre stretch of land in the Twelve Mile area designated for “maintaining a resilient and diverse forest that supports wildlife, provides a sustainable source of timber, improves water quality and aquatic habitat and improves access to the forest.” As required under the National Environmental Policy Act, the draft assessment provides options on which the public can give their opinion. These include “no action” and “action alternative,” which is preferred by the Forest Service.

The plan can be reviewed here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/103581_FSPLT3_4666954.pdf

Public comments can be submitted online here: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=48776

Birds of Prey program coming to WV state parks and forests

Wings of Wonder, the West Virginia Birds of Prey program, will be presented in state parks and forests this August and September. The one-hour program introduces the public to six birds of prey that are native to West Virginia and teaches attendees about each bird’s rehabilitation, habitat and habits. The program is free to attend.

  • “Wings of Wonder” schedule:
  • Cacapon Resort State Park- August 9, 7:30 p.m.
  • Lost River State Park- August 10, 2 p.m.
  • Holly River State Park- August 17, 2 p.m.
  • Twin Falls Resort State Park- August 24, 7 p.m.
  • Audra State Park- August 31, 7 p.m.
  • Kanawha State Forest- September 14, 1 p.m.
  • Pipestem Resort State Park- September 14, 7 p.m.
  • Tygart Lake State Park- September 21, 7 p.m. 

Suspect responsible for fire at entrance of Yellowstone National Park receives 3 months in jail

On July 26, a human-caused fire spread through the grass and sage near the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The fire burned four acres before it was contained. An investigation into the fire revealed that Curtis Faustich, a seasonal concessionaire employee, had dropped a lit cigarette onto the ground, igniting the fire. 

On August 6, Faustich appeared in court and pled guilty. He was sentenced to three months in jail, $5,000 in restitution, two years of unsupervised probation, and is prohibited from entering Yellowstone National Park for two years. Callers to the park’s 24-hour tip line provided details that led to Faustich’s arrest.