Last week the Southern Environmental Law Center released their list of the top 10 most endangered areas in the south as a result of immediate and potentially irreparable threats in 2009. On that list, and coming in at number 10, was the Cherokee National Forest in Northeast Tennessee.
The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) placed Cherokee National Forest on the list due to "The U.S. Forest Service is moving forward with its plans to log several areas of this remarkable landscape, endangering trout, unbroken wildlife habitat and rare species."
The SELC states that logging thousands of acres would significantly impact the forest, wildlife, waters, and recreation. Additionally, logging operations would be visible from the Appalachian Trail.
The SELC is the largest environmental advocacy organization dedicated solely to protecting the Southeast. They perform law and policy work throughout the six states of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.
The Cherokee National Forest is located in Eastern Tennessee and stretches from Chattanooga to Bristol along the North Carolina border. It also borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the southwest and northeatern areas of the park as well. The 640,000-acre forest is the largest tract of public land in Tennessee. Millions of people every year visit the national forest to hike, camp, fish, canoe, kayak or view wildlife.
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