Cherokee Forest Voices

      1101 Antioch Road, Johnson City TN 37604


April 24, 2017

Hello Voices,

It’s time once again to ask for your help in protecting the Cherokee. You may make your contribution online if you wish.  Check it out at cherokeeforestvoices.org, which has a pay pal option.  We are also on Facebook – Check us out there as well.

Cherokee Forest Voices Forest Watch goals are restoration and preservation of biodiversity; improved protection of fish, wildlife, plants, soil and water resources: designation of new and expanded Wilderness Areas; increased availability of nature oriented recreation and protection of scenic values.


We are always looking for old growth and opportunities for ecological restoration. We continue to participate in projects on the northern and southern districts of the Cherokee. CFV challenges 100% of harmful F.S. projects proposed in areas identified as high-priority (Roadless, watersheds identified as critical for aquatic habitat and drinking water, old-growth and Mountain Treasures areas).


The main threat is from several bills in Washington that could devastate our Cherokee National Forest and the other forests in the south.

 

Federal Forests County Revenue, Schools, and Jobs Act (H.R.4019)

This bill seeks to turn back the clock on national forest management by imposing mandatory timber and revenue-generating targets on the Forest Service. It would also exempt logging activities from key environmental laws.

Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act (S. 1087, H.R.1581)

Opponents of roadless area protection are trying to repeal the Forest Service’s Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The bill (also known as the Great Outdoors Giveaway) would throw open the doors to destructive logging and road building on 50 million acres of America’s finest public forests and undisturbed wild lands. 

One of the biggest problems we face each year is the last-minute addition of anti-environmental “riders” to the Forest Service appropriations act or other laws. 

Off-Road Vehicle Management

Several recent proposed riders would undo or fundamentally undermine the multi-year public process used to develop management plans for off-road vehicles on national forests. 

Anti-Wilderness Provisions of the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act (H.R. 4089) and Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act (H.R. 2834 / S. 2066)

Dropped into otherwise unobjectionable bills promoting hunting and fishing, a nasty anti-wilderness provision would open up congressionally designated Wilderness Areas to motorized access and to commodity extraction activities.


These are only a few of the many projects active in the Cherokee: 


Stonepile

This project area is entirely in the 9.H Prescription, in which “plant communities are maintained or restored to their natural species composition and ecological distribution”. This area certainly should not be a priority for timber harvest and we commented from that position. 


Decommissioning of illegal ORV trails- 

The FS is trying to block manmade illegal trails. These are causing water quality and other resource damage in the Flatwoods, Hall Top, West Ripshin, Rich Mountain, and Buffalo Mountain areas. 


Meadow Creek 

This project development is at the Environmental Assessment level with many opportunities for restoration. 


Wilderness update

The work continues. Cherokee Forest Voices and other organizations joined together under TNWild to push for the passing of the TN Wilderness Bill. The bill would add 20,000 acres of wilderness to the Cherokee National Forest. To follow the bill, go to http://tnwild.org. We expect the bill to be introduced again in this session of the house and senate.


The ask:

Our membership has always been the only source of support we could truly count on.  Please be as generous as you can because the forest will be with you only if you are with the forest.  There will always be someone who wants to cut it down.


Catherine Murray, Executive DirectorDean Whitworth, Treasurer