Tellico Woes

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The US Forest Service maintains a 39.5-mile OHV system in the Cherokee National Forest known as the Upper Tellico OHV Area. Because of the area’s location adjacent to the Tellico River, the miles of poorly designed trails (many of which are social trails) have caused multiple plumes of visible sediment to pour into the Tellico River, which is a highly cherished trout stream as well as a popular boating destination.

Last year, Trout Unlimited served a notice of intent to sue to the Forest Service because of the poor water quality. In response, the Forest Service began preparing an environmental assessment, and has closed the most damaging trails. The public comment period is rapidly approaching its end, which means you only have a few days to let the Forest Service know how you’d like the Tellico managed. The OHV users have an active lobbying system asking for total access. Trout Unlimited is asking for all individuals concerned with water quality to voice their opinion by the July 9th deadline.

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