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North Carolina: Hunting and Recreational Shooting at Stake in Management Plan for Two National Forests

Friday, February 8, 2013

The U.S. Forest Service is in the process of revising the management plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.  When completed, the plan will guide management of the two national forests for approximately 15 years.  Nearly all decisions made about public use of national forests across the country, including access and opportunity to hunt and target shoot, flow from these management plans.

The planning process has begun with the schedule below of public meetings the Service will be holding.  Meetings will run from 6-9pm at the following locations:

  • Cheoah Ranger District: Feb. 21 at the Graham County Community Center in Robbinsville;
  • Appalachian Ranger District: Feb. 25 at Mars Hill College, Broyhill Chapel, in Mars Hill;
  • Tusquitee Ranger District: March 4 at the First Baptist Church in Murphy;
  • Grandfather Ranger District: March 12 at McDowell Technical Community College, Room 113, in Marion;
  • Pisgah Ranger District: March 18 at the Transylvania County Library in Brevard;
  • Nantahala Ranger District: March 19 at the Tartan Hall in Franklin.

The meetings will provide an overview of the planning process, and an opportunity to exchange information.  You can visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc to sign up for Forest Service news alerts about this planning process and visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision for more information. 

Sportsmen and women are highly encouraged to attend at least one of the public meetings and provide comments about how you want these national forests to be managed in the future.  Both Pisgah and Nantahala have some facilities for target shooting but more ranges need to be built.  Support from hunters and shooters is needed to make such facilities a reality.

Further, hunters cannot take for granted what they have enjoyed in the past will be open in the future.  Many Federal land managers are coming into positions of authority from backgrounds removed from hunting, fishing and shooting.  Your voice needs to be heard above those of environmentalists and other interests to stake your claim for your future in the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.

 

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