Public wants more protected forests
According to U.S. Forest Service data, Western North Carolina contains nearly 4 million acres of privately owned forests, and nearly all of these forests are intensively managed and skew toward younger ages. There is an abundance of young, early seral forest across the 18-county footprint of the Pisgah-Nantahala national forests. There is also a lack of old-growth forest on private lands. Nearly all of the remaining old-growth forests in Western North Carolina are found on national forestlands. We have lost most of the old-growth forests in the East, and we need to protect what remains, especially in publicly owned national forests. Public lands are our best opportunities to protect old-growth forests.