Thousands of people submitted emails and other public comments about the future of the Pisgah National Forest and the Nantahala National Forest. Seen here is a stretch of the Nantahala River in Cherokee County. Colby Rabon / Carolina Public Press

Welcome to The Kicker from Carolina Public Press, a North Carolina news show bringing you conversations with journalists, sources and newsmakers from across the state.

In this episode, we discuss:

In this episode, host Peter Kent and contributing environmental reporter Jack Igelman report discuss the thousands of comments delivered to the U.S. Forest Service about how the more than 1.1 million acres of public land making up the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests, in western North Carolina, should be managed.

According to one Forest Service employee who has worked on similar efforts across the country, the sheer volume of comments is unprecedented for the agency.

Through a Freedom of Information Act Request, Carolina Public Press received and read through them. And, in this episode, we share some of the most illuminating comments on the future of the forests, how they should be used and conserved, and their place in the economy, environment and culture of North Carolina. Read more.

Resources on the Pisgah, Nantahala national forests:

Carolina Public Press has reported on this since 2014, including publishing more than 30 news stories and holding public forums and webinars on the process. You can find it all in the ongoing Forest Lookouts series.

But is this brand new to you? Need to start from the beginning? Here’s an overview of what’s going on, from the perspective of the U.S. Forest Service.

Want to read the pre-draft of the management plan for the forests? These pieces have been made public.

Keep up with The Kicker

Tune in. You can find all The Kicker episodes here. And you can catch the show on the radio on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. on WPVM FM 103.7, in Asheville, and online at,

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Made possible by: The financial support of donors like you, foundations that support Carolina Public Press’s mission, and, an independent community radio station based in Asheville, N.C., make The Kicker possible. Show your support here.

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