News | December 29, 2010

SELC reaches key agreement with USFS on Tennessee timber sale

SELC, representing three conservation partners in Tennessee, reached an agreement with the Cherokee National Forest that spares vital wildlife habitat and protects water quality.

Earlier in 2010, on behalf of Cherokee Forest Vocies, Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition and Wild South, SELC had challenged the Forest Service's plan to log 355 acres in the watershed of Big Creek, a tributary of the French Broad River.  Most of the project area was on slopes of 35% or greater, classified by the Natural Resources Conservation Service as having “severe” risk of erosion.

Under the agreement, the Forest Service will not log about 122 acres in the Laurel Mountain area, a rugged backcountry that forms part of a vital pathway for black bear and other wildlife in the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.  Such habitat corridors will become even more important in the future as wildlife respond to the effects of climate change, which was a primary concern for SELC and our partner groups.

See our press release for more information.

Read theformal agreement (pdf)