Thursday, February 16, 2006

How can we save the land?

Found browsing around the Stop I-3 Coalition website, links to some stories and opinion pieces that really make me fear for the future of this beautiful area we've chosen to live in.

Back in November, Newsweek ran a feature by an East Tennessee native, Abe Whaley, about what's happening to the land he loves: Once Unique, Soon a Place Like Any Other: It's heartbreaking to watch the Appalachia I love disappear under endless condos and cabins.
It only takes one look at the photograph with this story to understand how a beautiful mountain can be defaced by the desire of developers to sell homes with a view.
"no ridge is too steep, no mountaintop too high, no creek too pristine to bulldoze and build on."

Here's an editorial from the St. Petersburg Times, which compares the government's interest in the I-3 road to the slow response to Hurricane Katrina: From Disaster to Disgrace.
"But as recently as this spring, the New Orleans district sustained a $71.2-million cut. At the same time, Congress happily conjured up a pork barrel bill that contemplates, among other things, the justification for an unnecessary and unwise $50-billion interstate highway through the North Carolina and Georgia mountains. The same president who signed that bill rationalized last week that nobody foresaw the New Orleans levees giving way. Only someone who prefers to dwell in ignorance could have said that."

And, in the news this week, and even more scary, the new reports that the government is considering selling off hundreds of thousands of acres of National Forest land. Here's a list of the potential areas. Listed here, dozens of tracts in the Nantahala and Pisgah and Cherokee national forests, including a couple in Cherokee county. These national forest lands are our last protection against the overdevelopment which seems to be happening everywhere around. There isn't enough public land already. We can't lose any more.


Lynne said...

Liz, I am so thankful that we have you up here watching those things that slip by most of us. Thanks for opening our eyes.

Anonymous said...

The trout fisherman in our area have been noticing this for some time and I am glad and hopeful that everyone who lives here will work to abate the problem before nothing is left. Also, the commercial development along our major highways is tearing apart and leveling every spot of wooded land as fast as they can before interest rates go up. There appears to be no check on this rampant development. The counties in the area need a regional plan to get out of this mess.