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  1. #1
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    North Mills River update

    Little more detailed info on the Brushy Ridge project.



    January 30, 2014
    Section of North Mills River Recreation Area to close soon for logging
    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: North Mills River, U.S. Forest Service — Karen Chavez @ 5:48 pm
    If you like to mountain bike, hike, fish or ride your horse in the North Mills River Recreation Area, just south of Asheville, start thinking about a different play to play starting any day now.

    The U.S. Forest Service will begin a commercial logging in the Pisgah National Forest on some 64 acres, known as the Brushy Ridge project, closing roads and trails, including the popular Trace Ridge Trail, in Henderson County. The project will continue through May.

    Derek Ibarguen, Pisgah District Ranger, said the timber project will provide environmental benefits such as controlling non-native species, restoring American Chestnut trees, improving fish habitat and promoting wildlife habitat.

    The Brushy Ridge Project was open to public comment in 2010 and approved in the summer of 2011. Eighty seven comments were received, including concerns about water quality and logging on slopes, as well as those welcoming the opportunity for improved wildlife habitat.

    The closure will also prevent the N.C. Wildlife Commission from its spring trout stocking on the upper section of North Mills River below the Hendersonville reservoir dam.

    “The goal of the timber harvest is forest restoration,” Ibarguen said. “Some of it is taking out white pine that has been planted, and allowing natural regeneration, promoting the resiliency of forest health, and oak regeneration.”

    For public safety, the following trails and roads will be closed during the timber harvest:

    Hendersonville Reservoir Road (FS 142);
    Fletcher Creek Road (FS 5097), to intersection with Spencer Gap Trail (Trail 600);
    Wash Creek (Trail 606);
    Trace Ridge (Trail 354);
    North Mills River (Trail 353);
    Yellow Gap Trail (Trail 611).
    Trace Ridge Trailhead will not be accessible and the use of the trails and roads is prohibited. Ibarguen said visitors should use caution while traveling in the area, particularly Wash Creek Road, where there will be logging trucks.

    The timber sale will include two-age harvesting, which will remove a majority of mature trees yet leave some mature trees behind. Ibarguen said the project also aims to improve habitat for aquatic species, including trout, by replacing culverts and bridges; control non-native invasive species; plant hybrid American Chestnut trees; improve habitat for wildlife; and designate an additional 231 acres of old growth forest areas.

    Josh Kelly, public lands biologist with the conservation group WNC Alliance, said he is glad to see that some of the logging will convert old white old pine plantations back into native forests, but would have rather seen logging in an area with less human use and less liability.

    “Clearly the North Mills River is one of the most used areas,” Kelly said. “It‘s very popular with hiking and mountain biking and horseback riding add on top of that hunting and fishing, and a campground. It has every conceivable use, and a lot of economic benefit.

  2. #2
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    Looks like the P111 will need a re-route.
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  3. #3
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    If you are curious about the forestry details check this link:
    Silviculture | North Central Region Forest Management Guides

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    many gears, some pies

  4. #4
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    So, so very sad.

    Did the Lower Trace Ridge reroute get completed in time?

    Also very interesting that they would be bringing heavy equipment onto gravel roads when the roads are in such poor shape this winter.

    It is very hard to imagine that logging and heavy equipment on 142 and North Mills River trail will not have a negative impact on water quality.

    Courthouse Creek is next to go. What will be after that? I'm guessing the Avery Creek area.
    More Trails, Not Less

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  5. #5
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    Another question would be: what is the new route for the 111k? Where are the extra miles going to come from?

  6. #6
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    I have one word for how to effect this in a positive way moving forward: LRMP. That is the Land and Resource Plan process the FS is working on now. I reported earlier that the representation from the mtn bike community was poor at the last open house meeting in Brevard. Working on trails is one thing and needs to increase. However it is just as or more important to be involved in the planning process such as this LRMP revision or commenting on these projects when they come out. Time to step it up folks.

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    So, so very sad.

    Did the Lower Trace Ridge reroute get completed in time?

    Also very interesting that they would be bringing heavy equipment onto gravel roads when the roads are in such poor shape this winter.

    It is very hard to imagine that logging and heavy equipment on 142 and North Mills River trail will not have a negative impact on water quality.

    Courthouse Creek is next to go. What will be after that? I'm guessing the Avery Creek area.

  7. #7
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    but they are just building sustainable forests
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    but they are just building sustainable forests
    Oh yeah, I forgot that for a minute. Just like the new clearcuts close to (with skidder trails crossing) the kids trail loop in DuPont.

  9. #9
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    North Mills River update

    Sustainable logging. Of course.

  10. #10
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    IF the USFS info is true, this will be a great thing for the future of the forest. Removing the garbage trees, and replacing them with food source trees (oaks, American Chestnut) is something I support 110%. My fear is the USFS will drop the ball, and it'll be an unmanaged clear cut that becomes an overgrown tangle of underbrush and junk growth in 10 years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snototter View Post
    Little more detailed info on the Brushy Ridge project.



    January 30, 2014
    Section of North Mills River Recreation Area to close soon for logging
    Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: North Mills River, U.S. Forest Service — Karen Chavez @ 5:48 pm
    If you like to mountain bike, hike, fish or ride your horse in the North Mills River Recreation Area, just south of Asheville, start thinking about a different play to play starting any day now.

    The U.S. Forest Service will begin a commercial logging in the Pisgah National Forest on some 64 acres, known as the Brushy Ridge project, closing roads and trails, including the popular Trace Ridge Trail, in Henderson County. The project will continue through May.

    Derek Ibarguen, Pisgah District Ranger, said the timber project will provide environmental benefits such as controlling non-native species, restoring American Chestnut trees, improving fish habitat and promoting wildlife habitat.

    The Brushy Ridge Project was open to public comment in 2010 and approved in the summer of 2011. Eighty seven comments were received, including concerns about water quality and logging on slopes, as well as those welcoming the opportunity for improved wildlife habitat.

    The closure will also prevent the N.C. Wildlife Commission from its spring trout stocking on the upper section of North Mills River below the Hendersonville reservoir dam.

    “The goal of the timber harvest is forest restoration,” Ibarguen said. “Some of it is taking out white pine that has been planted, and allowing natural regeneration, promoting the resiliency of forest health, and oak regeneration.”

    For public safety, the following trails and roads will be closed during the timber harvest:

    Hendersonville Reservoir Road (FS 142);
    Fletcher Creek Road (FS 5097), to intersection with Spencer Gap Trail (Trail 600);
    Wash Creek (Trail 606);
    Trace Ridge (Trail 354);
    North Mills River (Trail 353);
    Yellow Gap Trail (Trail 611).
    Trace Ridge Trailhead will not be accessible and the use of the trails and roads is prohibited. Ibarguen said visitors should use caution while traveling in the area, particularly Wash Creek Road, where there will be logging trucks.

    The timber sale will include two-age harvesting, which will remove a majority of mature trees yet leave some mature trees behind. Ibarguen said the project also aims to improve habitat for aquatic species, including trout, by replacing culverts and bridges; control non-native invasive species; plant hybrid American Chestnut trees; improve habitat for wildlife; and designate an additional 231 acres of old growth forest areas.

    Josh Kelly, public lands biologist with the conservation group WNC Alliance, said he is glad to see that some of the logging will convert old white old pine plantations back into native forests, but would have rather seen logging in an area with less human use and less liability.

    “Clearly the North Mills River is one of the most used areas,” Kelly said. “It‘s very popular with hiking and mountain biking and horseback riding add on top of that hunting and fishing, and a campground. It has every conceivable use, and a lot of economic benefit.
    I looked at this a few times,Jerry's bump made me re-read it.Here we go:

    Improving fish habitat ← easy to type or say but the only reference to doing this is stating they'll replace culverts and bridges.The only reason they need to replace culverts and bridges is to get bigger machines in there.These are more than likely culverts and bridges that would last another 50+ years seeing very little use and having no impact on fish habitat.Replacing them will put a lot of unnecessary sediment into the water system.
    The economics is they are making money off of this and the money that is lost from not being able to use this area will be spread to other parts and not even be noticed.The campground may not have as many patrons and some of the free camp sites will finally have to be cleared of there seemingly permanent tenants but the Mills river restaurants/motels/stores will feel no pain.

  12. #12
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    Improving the mast can dramatically effect the abundance of game animals, but I have never seen anything that logging does, or can possibly do, to improve fish habitat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    I have never seen anything that logging does, or can possibly do, to improve fish habitat.
    Soil! It's what fish crave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbwnc View Post
    Soil! It's what fish crave.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    A good laugh for sure. A quick reminder however that fish get a fair bit of soil feed from eroding trails (that are close to water courses, which in Pisgah is most trails due to a lot of hydrology).

    But I don't see how logging will help, it only increase surface run off.

  16. #16
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    The U.S. Forest Service will soon begin the first phase of an ecosystem improvement project in the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, that includes 64 acres of timber harvesting. The effort, called the Brushy Ridge project, will provide a number of environmental benefits such as controlling non-native species, improving fish habitat and promoting wildlife habitat.

    ummm yeah.... because timber harvesting with gigantic machines and using pesticides to control invasive species (brought in by same machines) is always an improvement of the ecosystem
    many gears, some pies

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridn29s View Post
    The U.S. Forest Service will soon begin the first phase of an ecosystem improvement project in the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, that includes 64 acres of timber harvesting. The effort, called the Brushy Ridge project, will provide a number of environmental benefits such as controlling non-native species, improving fish habitat and promoting wildlife habitat.

    ummm yeah.... because timber harvesting with gigantic machines and using pesticides to control invasive species (brought in by same machines) is always an improvement of the ecosystem
    Ahh good point Nick, are said machines cleaned after each project? I know certain campgrounds will not allow wood to be brought in from other area's, stating that it may bring in unwanted pests.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch on 1206 View Post
    Ahh good point Nick, are said machines cleaned after each project? I know certain campgrounds will not allow wood to be brought in from other area's, stating that it may bring in unwanted pests.
    A Michigan State did a study in the 80's that determined that horses, more specifically the manure they drop everywhere, was a big culprit of spreading non-native plants in Michigan State Parks...
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry68 View Post
    A Michigan State did a study in the 80's that determined that horses, more specifically the manure they drop everywhere, was a big culprit of spreading non-native plants in Michigan State Parks...
    Same issues with boats changing waterways which is very common up in Mn/Wi area as I am sure other places. Big problem with transferring non native plants, algae and fish in to other lakes and waterways.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  20. #20
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    I was thinking about doing a last hurrah this afternoon at Trace Ridge. Does anyone know if the closures have started yet?

  21. #21
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    My wife ran over there this morning, said all trails were open, gate closed on 5000 at 142. Trailhead open.
    Last edited by timdvm; 02-07-2014 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Additional info

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    I have one word for how to effect this in a positive way moving forward: LRMP. That is the Land and Resource Plan process the FS is working on now. I reported earlier that the representation from the mtn bike community was poor at the last open house meeting in Brevard. Working on trails is one thing and needs to increase. However it is just as or more important to be involved in the planning process such as this LRMP revision or commenting on these projects when they come out. Time to step it up folks.
    Sad...and kind of done deal now...We need to do a better job of connecting projects like this harvest, with outcomes like this:

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article...S01/302080006/

    And then to economic drivers like this:
    Sierra Nevada has funded the second phase of a water quality monitoring program. | BlueRidgeNow.com


    Dollars and cents are the only thing that makes a difference. I would think that, where a bunch of cyclists would have little political impact...Executives from major economic engines would...

  23. #23
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    Pisgah Area SORBA » Blog Archive » Mills River Ecosystem Project Temporarily Closes Areas on Pisgah Ranger District

    Ecosystem Project Temporarily Closes Areas on Pisgah Ranger District


    PISGAH FOREST, N.C., Feb. 20, 2014 – The U.S. Forest Service has closed trails and roads in the Trace Ridge Area and Wash Creek areas of Henderson County in the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, to ensure public safety. The closures are necessary to implement the Brushy Ridge project, an ecosystem improve project that will provide a number of environmental benefits.

    The following trails and roads are closed:

    Seniard Mountain Road (FS 5001)-closed for a short portion of time;
    Hendersonville Reservoir Road (FS 142);
    Fletcher Creek Road (FS 5097), to intersection with Spencer Gap Trail (Trail 600);
    Wash Creek (Trail 606);
    Trace Ridge (Trail 354);
    North Mills River (Trail 353) and
    Yellow Gap Trail (Trail 611).
    Trace Ridge Trailhead will not be accessible and the use of the trails and roads is prohibited. Please use caution while traveling in the area, particularly Wash Creek Road as logging truck will be on the area roads. Seniard Mountain Road will be closed for a short period of time and reopened after minor road work occurs. There will be no access to the North Mills River within the closed areas listed above. Law enforcement will patrol the area where work will continue into May 2014.
    Last edited by Logover; 02-20-2014 at 12:27 PM.
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    We the people ...



    The Forest Service sent a note to the volunteer groups in Pisgah yesterday, before the press release was issued:
    The contractor is moving equipment up to the Brushy Ridge timber sale this week, so closures will be implemented. The Forest Service will be posting signs but please spread the word. Attached is a map of the closed areas, and the press release has gone out. Also, there will be log trucks hauling on Wash Creek Road so please, if you’re up in that area (which is not recommended), travel with caution and be expecting to meet them at any time. As narrow as Wash Creek is in places this could lead to some close encounters.
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  25. #25
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    Please note that while Bear Branch trail #328 and the road leading to it are not listed in the press release or anywhere else, they are certainly shown as closed on the map and were definitely listed in the original Brushy Ridge project for timber extraction/ "ecosystem management" purposes.

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