Just north in Virginia, pipelines are plowing through Jefferson National Forest. Swaths of forest hundreds of miles long are being clearcut for pipeline corridors. Could pipelines be routed through the Pisgah-Nantahala in the coming years? No pipeline restrictions currently exist in the forest plan
“We are seeing the damage and destruction caused by pipelines in the Jefferson National Forest,” says Hannah Furgiuele, organizer for I HEART PISGAH. “We want to make sure the Pisgah-Nantahala avoids a similar fate. The Pisgah-Nantahala Forest Plan is our best opportunity to prevent pipelines from bulldozing through our backyards and the most beloved places in the forests.”
Already, a gas pipeline has been proposed to run from the Duke power plant in Asheville to Canton, N.C., which could potentially cross popular sections of Pisgah National Forest. Other gas and infrastructure rights-of-way through the Pisgah-Nanthala may also be proposed over the 30-year lifespan of the forest plan.
I HEART PISGAH is encouraging the U.S. Forest Service to prohibit pipelines through the Pisgah-Nanthala National Forest as part of its upcoming forest plan. We need strong standards in the plan that ensure pipeline right-of-ways are not routed through special areas of the forest or across the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, or other iconic recreation and conservation corridors. More actions are planned this fall. Let’s make sure the Pisgah-Nantahala Forest Plan prohibits pipelines plowing through our forest.