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This is our last chance to call for the I-26 expansion to save more homes and businesses, improve biking and pedestrian options, reduce noise pollution and more. Take action by this Friday here.
COVID-19 is new and especially contagious, but it is not unique. It is among a growing number of animal-borne viruses, bacteria, parasites and other pathogens on the rise due to the twin threats of habitat destruction and climate change. These diseases are seen as exotic and foreign, but the same conditions of habitat destruction, degradation of biodiversity and increased human-wildlife interaction are happening right here in our mountain region.
The Forest Service is accepting public comment on the draft forest management plan for all 1.045 million acres of Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests — a plan that will set priorities and protections for the next 15-20 years of these public lands. This current comment period is our last meaningful chance to provide input on how these public lands are managed.
As our mountain communities brace for the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, MountainTrue is doing our part to help reduce the spread of the virus, and mitigate the health risks to our communities and our staff. As of Monday, March 16, our four offices in Asheville, Boone, Hendersonville and Murphy are closed to the public. Our staff will still be working hard to protect the places we share, but many of us will be doing so from home or out in the field where we’ll be following recommended protocols. Following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and public health officials, we are also canceling all of our public events, hikes and training sessions for this spring, and our volunteer-based water monitoring programs, river cleanups and public lands workdays will be on hiatus until further notice.
Asheville City Council will decide budget priorities for the next year at their annual retreat. Will you call on City Council to provide funding for renewable energy, public transit, affordability initiatives and protecting our urban forest in next year’s budget?
The draft management plan and environmental impact statement for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests were released on Friday, February 14. Our forest team is reviewing the more than 2,000 pages contained in those documents and we are scheduling a series of Forest Management Plan presentations and comment-writing parties throughout our region where our staff will present our analysis, answer your questions and help you write your comments.
MountainTrue takes pride in being at the forefront of conservation techniques in many areas. Last summer, Public Lands Director Bob Gale decided to work on finding new ways to tackle two of our worst invasives: Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) and Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica).
The Draft Forest Plan dropped, we are asking DEQ to modernize their public spill notification system, and working to stop the Beech Mountain Water Grab. Check out our February E-Newsletter and sign up to receive it in your inbox.
The Watauga Water Intake Project would reclassify the Watauga River, opening it up to any number of water withdrawals and increased development. As of October 2018, Beech Mountain is still losing 150,000 gallons of water from leaky pipes per day – or 47% of Beech Mountain’s annual water use. Yet Beech Mountain has recently increased funds for the Watauga Water Intake Project to $2.15 million in this budget cycle. Take action here to tell Beech Mountain Town Council: The Town shouldn’t take on an expensive water intake when almost half of the water supply is currently leaking.
“It is unconscionable for a company making this level of profit to call on customers – many of whom are on low or fixed incomes – to foot the bill for Duke’s coal ash mismanagement and continued reliance on fossil fuels,” says Eliza Stokes, an organizer for MountainTrue and a customer of Duke Energy Progress.