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LETTERS / Fix the Forest Plan – Or Scrap It

Dear Editor,

Fix the Forest Plan – Or Scrap It

Ashevillie is surrounded by Pisgah National Forest, and all of us depend on it for drinking water, clean air, scenic views, and abundant trails and rivers. It is the backbone of our economy and a big reason why people visit and live here. 

Sadly, the U.S. Forest Service just released a 30-year plan that will quadruple logging in Pisgah while reducing protections for its most important recreation and conservation areas. 

I am one of more than 14,000 people who have objected to the forest plan. The Forest Service has been flooded with a record-setting 14,000 objections from local businesses, organizations, recreation groups, and everyday folks like me who just love walking in the woods.  

The City of Asheville and Buncombe County have also formally objected to the plan.

The forest plan is a map that decides which parts of the forest will be logged and which will be protected. The Forest Plan proposes to open over 60% of Pisgah to logging over the next 30 years. 

Never before has the Forest Service ever received so many objections to a forest plan. These 14,000 objections send a strong message to the Forest Service: Fix the plan or—scrap it. The public has spoken loudly and clearly that they want to see more of the forest protected. For eight years, the public has consistently and overwhelmingly supported more protections for Pisgah. I hope that the Forest Service finally decides to listen.

Emily Diznoff, M.D. – Asheville, N.C.