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About the Forest Lookouts series
This in-depth reporting series explores the future of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests which are – for the first time in 20 years – undergoing an extensive re-planning process. Hiking through the national forests, paddling a river or fishing a stream, you can’t see the plan. But this process – which will ultimately oversee more than 1 million acres in 18 mountain counties using a process that has been largely untested on the East Coast – will have innumerable impacts on Western North Carolina’s residents, economies and environment. In Forest Lookouts, Carolina Public Press will pull back the layers of bureaucracy to report on the plan’s players and leaders, analyze the plan’s inception and implementation, find what community leaders, elected officials and conservationists think are the biggest issues facing the forests and explore the best ways to manage the forest for future generations — all to help residents across North Carolina understand what’s going on and how to participate.

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Part One: Diving In: What’s at stake for Pisgah and Nantahala
Part Two: WNC’s National Forests: Is the public in? Or are we out?
Part Three:
50 years after the Wilderness Act, what’s the future of WNC’s wild places?
Sidebar: Understand the law: The Wilderness Act
Sidebar: Advocates, forest managers debate national forest logging claims


The Newsmakers forum, held on Nov. 13 in Asheville, featured (left to right) Gordon Warburton with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Kevin Colburn with American Whitewater, Jack Igelman with Carolina Public Press, Hugh Irwin with The Wilderness Society and Kristin Bail with the National Forests of NC. Matt Rose/Carolina Public Press

At its Newsmakers forum held on Nov. 13, Carolina Public Press hosted some of the region’s top national forest managers and advocates for a live interview and public question and answer forum about the future management of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. More than 85 people attended the free and public forum, which was held at Handmade in America in Asheville.

Click here to read the ongoing Forest Lookouts series, a Carolina Public Press project reporting on the replanning process that will impact more than 1 million acres of national forests in 18 Western North Carolina counties.

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In Forest Lookouts, Carolina Public Press will pull back the layers of bureaucracy to report on the plan’s players and leaders, analyze the plan’s inception and implementation, find what community leaders, elected officials and conservationists think are the biggest issues facing the forests and explore the best ways to manage the forest for future generations — all to help residents across North Carolina understand what’s going on and how to participate.

Click here to watch a video of the Q&A portion of the Newsmakers forum.


We want to hear from you

  • What are your questions, concerns, ideas and analysis about the future of the region’s national forests? Send your comments and questions to Jack Igelman at jack@igelman.com and post them below to continue the discussion.
  • We also want to hear your stories! What’s your first memory of the forests? Did you or your family members have a part is forming the region’s national forests? Send your memories, photos and mementos to Editor Angie Newsome at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org, using the subject line: National Forest Memories.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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