New campaign to prevent more logging and cutting at LBL

More Land Between the Lakes visitors are now able to meet with the U.S. Forest Service at a closed meeting in exactly one week.

Some are upset the U.S. Forest Service is adding more acres for designated logging or burning.

Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White said they started a campaign this week called The 8600. They want to highlight what the 8,600 acres of the Oak Grassland Demonstration Area look like as well as keep any future timber sales, logging, and timber treatments to that area.

He said the U.S. Forest Service agreed to have 18 people representing different groups speak out on how they’d like to see LBL.

“People from the biking community, horses, jeeps, camp grounds, it goes on and on. The list is long. People who needed to have a voice in these meetings that they’re having currently,” White said.

Between the Rivers Hiking Club Founder Sharon Simmons worries trails like the North/South Trail may change through the Pisgah Bay Project

“That area has not been yet been sold, but we are concerned that they will sell it and then begin commercial logging in this area,” Simmons said.

Simmons said that they need a new management plan for this area and that people want it to be a natural recreation area.

“People don’t want to hike through open fields. People don’t want to hike through savannahs, or oak grasslands. That’s not really hiking,” Simmons said.

White said they want the forest service to prove this demonstration works before spreading it to other areas.

“We want them to put the priority on what LBL was founded on and growing our economies outside this area,” White said.

The groups will meet with the U.S. Forest Service next Thursday.

U.S. Forest Service Area Supervisor Tina Tilley is out of town and couldn’t comment. In the past, the forest service has said logging and burning helps keep the woods healthy.

A public forum is expected in May, but a date has not been announced. 

For more information on the 8600 campaign, click here

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