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Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan Will Be Released In February 2020

Lilly Knoepp
The Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan will apply to over 1 million acres of national forest in Western North Carolina.

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that its long-awaited forest management plan will be released in February 2020.

The Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan has been in development for over five years. The plan is a strategic framework for how the over 1 million acres of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests will be managed for at least the next 10 years.

Previous drafts of the plan received an unprecedented number of public comments - over 20,000. When this draft of the plan comes out in February, it will trigger a 90-day public comment period. Then the plan will be finalized. 

Credit Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service
This is the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan process outlined on the U.S. Forest Service website.

The current management strategy was written in 1994. The forest plan doesn’t just matter to conservationists. Fisherman, outdoorsmen, kayakers and local business owners will all be impacted by the new strategies outlined in the plan.

The plan outlines conditions and standards for all aspects of forests from geological resources and conservation to timber and outdoor recreation. The plan has been based off of numerous stakeholder meetings and over 40 public meetings.

Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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