Thursday, January 04, 2007


Back last fall, the U.S. Forest Service issued two alternatives for "managing" the Globe, the large forest on the slopes immediately below the town of Blowing Rock: (1) "selective cutting" of the forest (which everyone recognized really meant, essentially, clear cutting the viewshed); or (2) no action.

A huge public outcry followed the announcement, along with tense public meetings between Forest Service personnel and Blowing Rock citizens, and some 1,200 letters urging "no action" flowing in to the Forest Service during the public comment period.

Meanwhile, Blowing Rock officials and concerned citizens began trying to get a legislative ball rolling in Washington, D.C., to designate the Globe a scenic area, to protect it from Forest Service "management." Local congresswoman Virginia Foxx was approached. She reacted angrily and rudely, essentially cussing out a Blowing Rock town council member for "putting pressure on her."

Meanwhile, and apparently in reaction to public outcry against the proposed timber harvest, the Forest Service announced a couple of weeks prior to Christmas a third alternative which was essentially # 1 above, reduced by approximately 20 acres of the total acreage proposed for cutting. The officials and citizens of Blowing Rock, not to mention numerous environmental groups, were not mollified. However, Virginia Foxx announced that she would support this alternative.

Those trying to save the Globe have given up on both Virginia Foxx and Patrick McHenry as potential champions in the U.S. House for introducing legislation that would grant a scenic designation to the area.

We hope those trying to save the Globe will approach Heath Shuler (or even David Price or Brad Miller) to introduce the legislation. Surely there's a Democratic member of Congress from North Carolina who will help us out up here!

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