Reader letters, 9-15

Sep 10, 2016

The downside of a wilderness designation

To the editor:

Having lived by and spent a lot of time in the Shining Rock/Middle Prong Wilderness area, my opinion is very different than the one in a recent article in The Mountaineer. At one time, I thought the wilderness designation was a good thing. From what I have seen over the years though, the best way to destroy a forest is to place it into wilderness.

The first thing that comes to mind for me with wilderness designation is over-crowding, with overflowing parking lots and cars parked in the grass to trails that are eroded waste deep in places, not to mention the trash I’ve seen that gets left behind. This is not hardly the wilderness experience that I think most are expecting.

Something that is not so obvious is the disappearance of wildlife, such as deer, grouse, song birds and a lot of other animals that depend on early sessional habitat that is created by controlled burns or logging, which is not allowed in wilderness areas.

I would like to see all our national forests managed so that there could be many different types of habitats. Trees along old logging roads could be thinned and the ground beneath opened up to sunlight and the roadbed seeded, which would create linear habitat. Permanent food plots scattered throughout the forests, especially at higher elevations, would benefit wildlife in late winter and early spring when other food sources are gone.

A large percentage of the mast producing trees (oak, hickory, beech) in our national forests are past the prime nut-producing age. With no active management, this means less food for wildlife and more bears in backyard bird feeders.

Another consequence of not allowing any timber harvesting is less water in streams. As someone who relies on natural springs for my water source, this is something I know first hand, and in drought years this is significant. This is not the first time we have had drought here and it will not be the last.

I would encourage everyone to push the USFS and their elected officials to manage our national forests for true biodiversity and not lock them up in special designations.

Mark Rogers


Civil discourse is needed

To the editor:

OK now, you are either for Trump or Hillary. That is fine. You have the right to support any candidate you want. But please explain to me why you have to be so belligerent and disrespectful of others' right to support whomever they want.

Why the protest, name calling and down right nastiness toward others just because they do not support your party. What has this country come to? Why the devisivness?

When the new president is in office then will your immature antics prove anything? Will you get back to liking your neighbor? Why can we all not just agree to disagree?

Nothing you say in anger or condescending tone will change anything. I really wonder if most of those trying to get their voice heard is doing it the right way. I think not.

When you protest or carry signs against a candidate, all you are doing is giving that candidate more publicity. It has gotten to the point where all this shouting and pointing of fingers is a nightly thing that should be watched with beer and hot wings or pop corn and Kool Aid. It is a farce and gotten to be a nightly prime time variety show. Almost rate to be a pay per view event. Wow. What a novel idea.

Joseph Edwards


Dollywood type development isn't needed here

To the editor:

I wholeheartedly agree with a recent letter commending Mr. Ross for not selling his land to those developers.

We don't need another Dollywood here in Haywood County and especially so close to Dellwood Road and the turnoff to Jonathan Creek Road where the speed limit is posted at 45 MPH but the cars and trucks are still zooming by my house which is next to the Dollar General Store at 70 and 80 MPH.

Can you imagine what the traffic count would be if the developers build what they are proposing, not to mention the number of trucks and workers going by?

Mr. Ross, please don't give in. Keep your beautiful land.

Sylvia Glavin



Stay focused on education, not politics

To the editor:

If Charter Schools are such a bad idea, why would the parents of 368 children want to send their children to Shinning Rock? Hopefully you'll stay focused on good education for their children and stay away from the politics with your reference to Shinning Rock being tied to right-wing political activists.

Tim Phelan

Lake Junaluska


Join march against drugs

To the editor:

Please join us for our fourth annual prayer walk, Community March Against Drugs in our Midst, Sunday Sept. 25, at 2 p.m. The walk will begin on the corner of South Main and Academy Streets, Waynesville near First Baptist Church.

Prayer stops will be at downtown churches, the historic Haywood County Court House and the Open Door soup kitchen. The walk ends at First United Methodist Church on Haywood Street. Wear your church shirt or bring your church banner.

Bus transportation available for those unable to walk the route.

Jean Parris


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