Nantahala - Pisgah Forest Planning
The comment period for the forest plan review has closed, but we have had some big successes this time around. The CCC signed on to a memorandum of understianding with 30 other groups that lays out a recreational and wilderness preferred plan for the forests. This is a huge success, bringing varied interests together to provide a united message to the Forest Service about what we want to see. The effort has been well covered by the media, here's a good article from Blue Ridge Outdoors that explains what the group is trying to acheive: http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/issues/new-protections-proposed-for-north-carolina-national-forest/
In addition, with thanks to the great folks at the Access Fund, we submitted a joint letter with comments on potential wilderness study area designations in the forest. Although climbing and wilderness areas are compatible, we felt that a diffrent designation would be more climber-friendly, particularly when it comes to fixed anchor maintenance. Panthertown Valley is probably the largest area potentially covered by these proposed designations. You can find a copy of that letter attached to this post.
This process is far from over, this is just the initial comments phase, but it's important that we represent climbing in the process as a legitimate and historic use of the forest and that we stay engaged as the plan revisions move forward.