The Chattooga Conservancy, plus several other NGOs and hundreds of citizens, have been fighting the Nantahala Ranger District’s proposed “Southside Project” since 2017. This controversial timber sale affects 317 acres of native forests located in the pristine headwaters of the National Wild & Scenic Chattooga River and the Whitewater River, in the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest. The project would cut rare old growth trees, destroy habitat for the imperiled Green Salamander, and permit excessive, repeated burning and herbicide applications. Yet despite overwhelming opposition, the Forest Service delivered a slap in the face to a concerned public and recently approved moving ahead with the Southside Project.
What can you do? Learn about and get involved in the ongoing Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan Revision. Several stands of timber would be dropped from the Southside Project, depending on the outcome of the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan Revision. Here’s why:
- Several rivers in the Southside project area are being considered as eligible for wild & scenic designation, including the Whitewater River, Thompson River, Overflow Creek and the East & West Forks of Overflow. Support wild & scenic designation for all of these eligible, outstanding rivers! Two stands of trees on the Whitewater River are scheduled for cutting in the Southside Project—but one would be dropped and one would be scaled back if the Whitewater is carried forward as eligible for wild & scenic designation in the new Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Plan.
- The Ellicott Rock West Wilderness Area Extension is being considered as an eligible addition to the National Wilderness Preservation System. Two stands of trees would be dropped from Southside if the Ellicott West Wilderness Area Extension is carried forward in the new forest plan.
- Terrapin Mountain is being considered as an eligible addition to the National Wilderness Preservation System. Two stands of trees would be dropped from Southside if Terrapin Mountain is carried forward as a potential wilderness area in the new forest plan.
You can learn more and stay in touch with the management of our national forests and wild & scenic rivers by joining the Chattooga Conservancy. We are a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to protect, promote and restore the Chattooga River watershed and nearby special places.