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first_imgThe Forest Service is completing a long-term plan that will decide how much of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest is cut and how much is protected over the next three decades.Over 22,000 public comments on the plan have flooded the Forest Service, and over 92 percent of the comments support more protected areas.The deluge of public comments has caused the Forest Service to postpone the release of their final draft plan until early 2019. The Forest Service said that more time will allow the agency to integrate its response to an unprecedented number of public comments into the final draft plan.The 1.1-million-acre Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest is the second-most-popular national forest in the country, with near 7 million visitors last year.According to an analysis of the 22,000 comments conducted by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, 20,454 comments favor more, stronger, and permanent protections for Pisgah; 1,711 comments were against protected areas or wanted more logging.The comments were as diverse as the forest itself, written by eight-year-olds and octogenarians, from rural and urban areas, and across the political spectrum. Some were hand-written, passionate pleas for stronger protections, while others were multi-page analyses of the legal and scientific basis for more protected areas.“The public has sent a strong, clear message to the Forest Service: permanently protect more of the Pisgah-Nantahala,” says Hannah Furgiuele, organizer of I Heart Pisgah, a coalition of over 100 businesses and organizations—and thousands of individuals—who support more protected areas in Pisgah.Comments requested that dozens of special recreational and biological areas in the Pisgah-Nantahala receive permanent protection, including the corridors of the Art Loeb Trail, Bartram Trail, Benton Mackaye Trail, and Mountains to Sea Trail. The Big Ivy/Craggies received more comments in favor of permanent protection than any other area in the Pisgah-Nantahala. Comments also frequently highlighted the Black Mountains, Snowbird Creek, Daniel Ridge, Cedar Rock, Bald Mountains, Mills River, Tusquitee Bald, Terrapin Mountain, Unicoi Mountain, Santeetlah Creek, Mackey Mountain, Cheoah Bald, Bluff Mountain, and Panthertown Valley.Some comments expressed opposition to any new protected areas, citing concerns over access, hunting, and populations of game species like deer and grouse. Others wanted to see more timber harvests to support regional lumber and wood products businesses. The vast majority of comments asked the Forest Service to permanently protect more of Pisgah’s scenic vistas, clean water and trout streams, waterfalls, rare species habitat, trail networks, and recreational hubs.“We applaud the Forest Service for taking the time to analyze the public comments, and we appreciate the Forest Service for providing many public comment opportunities,” says Furgiuele. “The public has expressed overwhelming support for more protected areas. We are hopeful that the voices and values expressed in the public comments will be reflected in the final plan.”last_img read more

first_img The agency said ground beef from the company was used at a Virginia Scout camp where E coli recently broke out. Virginia health officials said in an online update today that 25 E coli cases have been confirmed out of about 84 reported illnesses in Scouts who recently attended the camp in Goshen, Va. Eight scouts have been hospitalized. Aug 7 FSIS news releasehttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_027_2008_Release/index.asp The contamination was discovered through a joint investigation by the FSIS and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the FSIS said. In July the USDA announced it would soon begin listing the names of retail stores that receive food products involved in class 1 (high-risk) recalls. The new policy is to take effect this month. “We have 11 culture-confirmed cases of E coli, and 5 of those have a PFGE [pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or DNA fingerprint] pattern that matches some of the leftover product at the camp, which was produced by S&S Foods,” Metz told CIDRAP News today. She said no cases elsewhere have been linked to S&S Foods products so far. See also: VDH spokeswoman Cheryle Rodriguez said the reason Virginia and the FSIS have mentioned different numbers of confirmed cases (25 versus 11) is that some of the cases have not yet been tied to ground beef. “Those are cases, yes, but we have not confirmed that they’re associated with the ground beef,” she told CIDRAP News. “Right now that’s the main thing we’re looking at, but we look at all possibilities.” S&S Foods of Azusa, Calif., is recalling 30-pound boxes of frozen ground beef because of possible E coli contamination, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a news release. The products were sold to food services and institutions, not retail stores, the FSIS said. Aug 7, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak at a Boy Scout camp in Virginia has been linked to ground beef from a California company, prompting the firm to recall 153,630 pounds of beef, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported today. Virginia’s Jul 31 news release with latest updatehttp://www.vdh.state.va.us/news/PressReleases/2008/073108ecoli.htm The ground beef products were shipped to distributors in Allentown, Pa., and Milwaukee, the FSIS said. The 30-pound boxes carry the establishment number “EST. 20375” inside the USDA mark of inspection, and the individual packages are labeled “742798 MFST, 100% GROUND BEEF BULK, 80/20, 1LB. BRICK.” “Through our trace-back we confirmed that the camp had some of the S&S food products, and that’s what was used in dinners at the camp on certain days,” leading to the recall, said Emily Metz, an FSIS spokeswoman in Washington, DC. USDA spokeswoman Laura Reiser said the agency will not be releasing a list of establishments that received the meat, as it was not sold in retail stores, according to a Washington Post report published today.last_img read more

first_img Pennant produced a wonderful 82nd-minute strike that curled over the wall and beyond goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to secure a 1-0 victory in their Barclays Premier League clash at Upton Park. The 30-year-old winger’s contract was due to expire in the summer and he was expected to leave having been marginalised under former boss Tony Pulis, only for Hughes to give him a 12-month extension. “Jermaine has been excellent since I came to the club. I’ve always admired his talent, but he’s had his own problems and will tell you that himself,” Hughes said. “When I came in and there was a real possibility he could leave the club, I felt like I couldn’t allow that to happen. You don’t want him turning up at Stoke in a different shirt. “I felt it made sense to keep him at the club and work with him to see what he’s like as an individual and player. He hasn’t disappointed me. He comes in every day with a smile on his face. “His work’s good and you don’t score a goal like he did without putting extra work in on the training ground, which he does every single day. “In the past maybe he’s been judged before he’s had the chance to show what he can do. He’s let himself down probably as well, which he’ll admit to. “He’s in a different place in his life now and is enjoying his life. I’m delighted for him.” Pennant’s goal was the highlight of a frustrating match that dominant Stoke should have won more comfortably with Kenwyne Jones, Marc Wilson and Jonathan Walters failing to convert first-half chances. “I think everybody would agree that we deserved to win,” said Hughes, who is hoping to bring in an attacking player before the transfer window closes on Monday. Stoke manager Mark Hughes claimed Jermaine Pennant’s match-winning free-kick against West Ham proved why it was vital to keep him at the club. “From the first minute until the last we got the ball down, passed and moved. Overall we always looked a threat and the only criticism I’d have is we should have won more comprehensively. “We had to wait until the latter stages of the game and that great finish from Jermaine, but from our point of view it was almost the perfect away performance.” West Ham manager Sam Allardyce acknowledged it was a poor display after watching his side fail to seriously trouble Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic. “At home, I haven’t seen us play that badly since we’ve been back in the Premier League, sadly,” Allardyce said. “We have to accept that at this moment in time it looks like we’re still establishing ourselves in the Premier League. “We still can’t quite reach the level of consistency this league demands. It was a really off day for us, a bad day. Our back four limited Stoke very well. “But the front six in terms of creativity really wasn’t there. It really wasn’t good enough and we played poorly, individually and collectively.” Press Associationlast_img read more