Recently we reported on a vote taken by the Blowing Rock, North Carolina town council expressing opposition to a U.S. Forest Service plan to allow logging in an area within view of the resort town. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has evaluated the plan and is supporting it. The text of their press release is below.
Wildlife Advisories Hotline - Forest Management Plan
RALEIGH, N.C. (Sep. 12, 2006) – “A N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission evaluation supports a forest management plan for 231 acres near Blowing Rock currently under review by the U.S. Forest Service. An assessment by Wildlife Resources Commission biologists shows the plan would help restore valuable wildlife habitat. ”
The 231-acre parcel is located within the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest in Avery, Caldwell and wattage counties. Known as the Globe Project, the plan includes creating clearings and planting native grasses and clobbers, while eradicating invasive, non-native plants. A timber harvest would take place on a portion of the acreage.
With construction and development displacing or disrupting habitats throughout the region, forest management on public lands has become increasingly important. The biologists noted that the habitat created would be vital for several declining songbird species, as well as wild turkey, bear and deer.
Commission biologists said that clearings will foster insects, which become food for birds and small mammals, which, in turn, become food for larger predator species like snakes, bobcats and birds of prey.
Openings allow vegetation growth, like grasses, various tree seedlings and shrubs, to emerge, which is normally hampered in the shade of mature forests. This new vegetation is an ideal food source for many birds, rabbits and deer. Ruffed grouse and many warbler species require such habitats at various life stages.