Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grandfather Ranger District to receive $605,000 for forest restoration

Last week the U.S. Forest Service announced funding awards for ten new projects under the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) program. The recipient of one of those awards was the Grandfather Ranger District in North Carolina. Located within the Pisgah National Forest, the Grandfather Ranger District is an area of 330,360 acres southeast of the Blue Ridge Parkway, between Asheville and Blowing Rock.

Over the next 10 years, the award of $605,000 will be used primarily for the following projects:

* Restoration of the natural fire regime to fire adapted vegetation to benefit threatened and endangered species, restore native forests and woodlands, benefit early successional wildlife species, and reduce wildfire costs and severity.

Essentially, the goal is to increase the number of prescribed burns on 36,795 acres of pine and oak forests. The Forest Service typically burns about 2,000 acres a year, but with CFLR funding, will increase that to 6,507 acres per year.

* Control non-native invasive plants to benefit threatened and endangered species at Linville Gorge and restore riparian vegetation at Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River.

* Treat eastern and Carolina hemlock for hemlock wooly adelgid to maintain genetically and ecologically important hemlock forest in the face of a non-native pest.

For more information on the program, please click here.



Lonnie crotts said...

Dear Friends:
Wilderness Watch is lending its support to protect the Linville Gorge Wilderness. This is an informative, well written article in the Guardian. a monthly email to members:

Wilderness Watch has stayed true, they have maintained their mission for the wilderness, unlike other's that have signed on to this burning of the Gorge. These include Nature Conservancy and Wild South, deceptive names. According to the US Forest Service the Gorge would be their biggest to date. You know they keep telling us that out of control burns occur at less than 1%, if that was so, I expect that they don't need helicopters to drop the incendiary bombs and would be happy to be on the ground when they set the fires.

Your friend in protecting the Wilderness,

Lonnie Crotts said...

Here's the link to the Wilderness Watch article: [url][/url]

Bob Underwood said...

This project by the US Forest service is dirty and dishonest. It is dishonest because it misleads the public by trying to legitimize a terrible proposal by suggesting that burning 12000 acres of the Linville Gorge wilderness lumps together the solutions for a few management problems. The real issue and the ONLY legitimate issue is that the USFS finds that fires are terribly expensive to they want to set a series of smaller fires that they hope in theory that they are able to control and this will save them money in the long run. THIS is a good argument and if they had the integrity to stick to it they might restore their credibility. How much do they really care about the Peregrine Falcon restoration program which they sponsored for the last decade?..Do you think the endangered falcons will thrive in 12000 acres of chared forest? All that hoop-la about restoring the wonderful falcon in Linville Gorge. Where is it now? In the trash can i suspect. All this posturing about invasive species, endangered species, Hemlock disease--all these are worthwhile goals --but you dont have to burn down the whole forest to do any of this..Each of these issues can be addressed independently AND at a fraction of the cost. Not to mention that burning the wilderness will destroy wildlife and ruin the place for hunting and possibly silting up the river for fishing. This is such unbelievably BAD management...they plan to drop incendiaries from helicopters. Id like to know exactly who the 'Experts' (?) were who recommended this proposal and also if these same "Experts" stood to benefit from it. Comment period for this ends Jan 15 -- Bob Underwood

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very sound plan for combating the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Reduce its fuel source to ashes, and the adelgid will perish. I use the same management plan when it comes to hangnails. Chop off the finger, problem solved. I am thankful we have a Forest Service with the wisdom and forward-thinking needed to preserve our wilderness areas for future generations.