(Cross-posted at the new Appalachian Voices blog)
This is what Swain County, NC looks like...
The federal government is now poised to build a 34-mile road right through Smokies on the North Carolina side, destroying one of the largest remaining pristine forestlands in the Eastern United States.
The deadline for comments on the draft of the “Environmental Impact Statement”(EIS) is this Friday, April 7. Please submit a comment to the Park Service today to oppose the North Shore Road.
“Environment North Carolina” says that the North Shore Road would pollute surrounding unspoiled rivers and streams, including Hazel Creek, and destroy wildlife habitat in Swain County.
The local County Commissioners are interested in preserving the beauty.
The North Shore Road is intended to replace an old Swain County road, flooded in 1943 when the federal government created Fontana Lake. But since the government's pledge to build a new road, Swain County has called for $52 million in compensation instead. The compensation sought by county commissioners, who want to preserve the beauty, recreational, and tourist value of the Smokies, pales in comparison to the more than $600 million federal officials now estimate will be required to build the new road.
The Great Smokey Mountain National Park is the most popular National Park in the entire country, attracting over 10 million visitors a year. It is already the most polluted National Park in regards to ozone, smog, and acid precipitation. Lets make sure that we continue to make it more beautiful, not less.