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Discussion Starter #1
according to a story in last week's paper (the cherokee scout) 3 different groups are suing the forest service for closing the trails...

we'll see how that goes, I hope they open at least some of them again, that place brought an unbelievable amount of money to this area, seems like every weekend i would see big lines of Hummers, Jeeps, Range rovers, Land cruisers, 4 wheelers, you name it... The Jeep jamboree was massive, you would see hundreds of them around here for days on end...

I made another post about it a while back, but for those who didn't read it, I went up there to survey the "damage" for myself... This is what I saw.

Of course some of the 4x4 trails were washing out, you could clearly see the ruts water had made in them, but you could not see a distinct straight line to the creeks.

The creeks all had mud and sediment in them, for those who aren't familiar with mountain creeks, they should never have mud in them, they are always rock and sand, with just a little bit of mud.

There is a huge clear cutting timber operation ongoing up there, Looking at that, you could clearly see a gigantic mud-flow going straight into the creek... I may not be a geologist but it looked pretty apparent to me that the clear cut with all it's dozers, skids, and trac-hoes were causing the majority of the problem. Why in the world trout unlimited decided to pick on the 4x4 people instead of the loggers is beyond me, but the trout unlimited organization are the ones behind the closure.

anyhow, according to the article, several months ago they lost their appeal for reversing the closure decision, now they are going ahead with their lawsuits. I sure hope they win...

The 4x4's were certainly not helping the situation of sediment in the creeks, but I saw the evidence with my own 2 eyes that they were not even comparable with the clear cutting operation. I had gone up there just a few months after the closure, and you could not even tell where most of the trails were, only the worst ones still had evidence of washout.

The associations involved in the lawsuit are

The southern four wheel drive association

United four wheel drive association

blue ribbon coalition

everyone should contact these groups and ask how they can help...

I am all for conservation of the environment, I may even be what most of you guys would call a "hippie", but I also firmly believe in my rights of use of public land, and I love my 4x4... It is quite obvious to anyone who actually looks at the damage to see where it is coming from. The forestry claims that they don't get much money from the loggers, however the loggers claim that they have to pay so much that it is barely worth their time... someone is lying, or at the very least downplaying the truth, the more people who show their support for the above listed organizations the better off we might be.

I'm also wondering if there can't be some type of criminal charges brought up against the forest service... The 4x4 groups really worked their butts off up there providing trail maintenance and all sorts of time and money invested in keeping the environment nice and well cared for, now all of that was taken away.

All of this on top of the forest service selling off HUGE tracts of land around here to developers to put subdivisions in... :twak

Anyhow, if anyone cares about keeping places to wheel, we need to be able to stand up to the forest service, contact these groups, see what you can do to help!!


Oh and I forgot to add... The "independent" study of the sediment, was paid for by TROUT UNLIMITED... The same ones who are pushing the 4x4's out...

My guess is that some big cheese from trout unlimited was up there fishing and got cussed at or otherwise offended by a 4x4 person, hence their completely unsubstantiated claims against the 4x4's...
 

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That newspaper is out of asheville, several hours away from us. They've got their facts straight, but the past articles in our local paper have interviews of the loggers, forestry officials, and 4x4 people...

Short of donating money, which many of us can't afford I would think letter writing would still help. I contacted the organizations and asked them for ways that we can help, i'll post their response when i get them.

The whole thing is just FUBAR, however I feel that their lawsuits are doomed due to their arguments being about the wrong issues. Seems that the 4x4 people are saying the watershed is not affected, well I can tell you for a fact that it clearly is. The issue is who is affecting it, and again for a fact I can tell you guys that the 4x4's aren't even comparable with the logging operation. I wish I had taken some pictures of the washout going straight into the creek, even a retarded monkey with advanced syphilis could have figured out that a huge amount of mud was going in the creek.

I understand selective logging is essential for forest maintenance, but not flat out clear-cutting. What that does is causes undergrowth to instantly dominate the landscape and trees will never have a chance to come back because they can't get any light to get above the briars and whatnot.

I hope we can get these trails re-opened again, they were some of the best in the world.
 

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I understand selective logging is essential for forest maintenance, but not flat out clear-cutting. What that does is causes undergrowth to instantly dominate the landscape and trees will never have a chance to come back because they can't get any light to get above the briars and whatnot.
This statement isn't factually correct. With proper forest managment practices a clear cut is just as viable tool as any other. Just FYI

tim

ETA: I am not sure about NC law but in SC logging was required to follow BMPs or best managment practices to minimize water shed damages. From your description it doesn't sound like these were followed. In SC they are "voluntary" but in a National Forest the contract for logging would for sure include the agreement to adhere to these practices.

I don't want you to think I am defending the closing of the trails. Far from it, just trying to help you understand a little bit more to help your arguing strategies. Do some research on NC Forest BMPs and see what you can come up with.

I would suspect the closing is for political reasons and the trout people are helping push it, so the study will conclude what the money says it should. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yeah it's a drag... when proper management is followed you are correct, and I have not been back up there to see if they have done any planting to replace them.

I hope they win their lawsuit and open at least a few of the trails back up, I'm sure "schoolbus" would be closed since it is "their" posterchild trail for damage.

It really hurt this area economically since the closing. Before we had tourism and construction as our economy, construction is down across the whole nation, and now they took away a big tourism attraction as well. I never spent too much time up there riding because I didn't want to smash up my truck but I really loved seeing the big caravans of 4x4's going by every weekend. The hummer meets were always my favorite, they usually came to the John C. Campbell folk school right up the road from my house to meet and have dinner, it was pretty cool to see 100 or so hummers in the same place!

I need to clarify that I did not see any issues in the tellico river, only in davis creek (which feeds into the tellico river). It was rather sad to see davis creek full of mud though.

I hope they will open it back up, but honestly it's not looking good. Fighting the Government on something takes more resources than most folks can come up with, sounds like it'll come down to who can keep in the fight longer.
 

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Kendall Flint Holbrook 5:13am Dec 15
The Tellico case is moving forward. SFWDA and it's attorneys are expecting a hearing date to be assigned by the Court any day. The Hearing date appears to be imminent. We anticipate that the Hearing will be held in a Courthouse somewhere in Western North Carolina.

These cases are unique and complicated. Generally, they are administrative in nature. Therefore, we anticipate this Hearing will consist of Lawyer presented arguments to a Judge. This is not a trial. However, we believe it is a positive sign that the Court wants to hear from the Party's in the case and not simply rely on the briefs.

Stay tuned as we now begin to see the fruits of all the effort that has been put forth. As soon as the venue and the date certain for the Hearing is available and known I will post the information.

SFWDA and I appreciate your patience and support to date. As we move forward it will be extremely important that we support this action through the process.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Until i have more to report......Flint
I follow this on FaceBook..:duh
 

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Looks like were just SOL for tellico. I have heard there are still some open trails up there. But I dont want to go to jail.
Thanks
 
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