Old Growth Forests: F

  • The plan authorizes cutting over 44,000 acres of existing designated old-growth forests.
  • Over a quarter-million acres of mature forests that are approaching old-growth status are placed in logging-priority designations.
  • Twenty percent of the highest-priority logging lands contain known, inventoried old-growth forests.
  • The plan opens half of the forest to logging.
  • The Forest Service’s old growth and natural disturbance models are inaccurate, built on misleading assumptions, and fundamentally flawed.
  • The Forest Service intentionally removed protections and consideration for all small patches of old growth forest in the Pisgah-Nantahala, resulting in thousands of acres of old growth forest now in highest priority logging designations.
  • The plan violates rules by not evaluating the national forest in the broader landscape, which is dominated by young forests and lacking old growth.
  • Half of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest should consist of old-growth forests according to the Forest Service’s own data. However, the forest currently contains less than 9% old growth, and much of it is in logging-priority designations.
  • Less than 1% of old-growth remains in the Eastern United States, and nearly all of it is found on public lands.
  • The plan’s so-called old-growth forest network includes mostly young forest and actually excludes known, existing old-growth.
  • The plan fails to evaluate the climate and carbon benefits of protecting mature and old-growth forests, which store the most carbon of any terrestrial ecosystem.

More Issues • Please Read

Protected Areas: F

The plan fails to protect over 101,000 acres of most important conservation and recreation hotspots. More than half of the most popular forest in the country is in highest priority logging designations.

Craggy National Scenic Area: D

The Forest Scenic Area designation for part of Craggy provides key support for the proposed Craggy National Scenic Area, and the final plan included an additional 700 acres. However, the plan places