USDA Forest Service officials at the Cherokee National Forest say that while logging operations are in progress, the Falls Branch Road (FDR 374) will be closed to public motor vehicle traffic. The road will remain closed for approximately 2 to 3 months.
The Falls Branch Road begins at Pace Gap off the Sheeds Creek Road (FDR221) east of Syclo Campground in the Ocoee Ranger District, Polk County,TN. Falls Branch Road extends approximately 7 miles north toward the Ocoee River where it ends.
Logging in the area is part of the Hogback Mountain Restoration Stewardship Project. This project is a cooperative endeavor between the USDA Forest Service and the National Wild Turkey Federation. The project will provide wildlife habitat diversity through prescribed burning; mechanical and chemical vegetation control; and various silvicultural methods.
The project will enhance habitat elements such as mast production (nuts and berries), seasonal seclusion (reduction of human presence during certain periods), and brood rearing habitat for the wild turkey. The project area is also located within a state-designated black bear reserve, and habitat improvements will benefit bears and many other species of wildlife.