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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 Press Association But as formal consultations are still to take place, let alone any planning permission being granted, Chelsea cannot take their discussions forward at this point as the exact dates they would need to occupy another stadium are not yet known – although a three-year period has been mooted. Tottenham have also looked into the prospect of moving into Wembley as their new stadium is built in the shadow of current home White Hart Lane. One issue for both clubs would be the cap on Wembley’s 90,000 capacity – with the stadium only licensed by Brent Council to host a certain number of full-seater events each year. Spurs have also looked at spending the 2017/18 campaign at stadium:mk – the home of Sky Bet Championship side MK Dons. But if both clubs decide Wembley is their first-choice option it is likely the period of time they require the site will clash – meaning one of them would miss out. Chelsea have only held preliminary discussions with Wembley about using the national stadium whilst their Stamford Bridge home is redeveloped, Press Association Sport understands. center_img Some reports on Tuesday suggested an eight-figure fee had already been offered by the reigning Premier League champions as they look at options for a temporary home. Wembley is seen as Chelsea’s preferred option but there are other venues, such as Twickenham, which could host their fixtures and are being looked at. last_img read more

first_imgUnited States Consulate General, Lagos has announced its support to the Little League Girls’ Softball Tournament and Clinic taking off today at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium in Oke Ado, Ibadan.A press statement by the Little District Administrator and Secretary General Nigerian Baseball and Softball Association, Mr Kehinde Laniyan confirmed the support from the American consulate.He added that this will be the second time that the American mission in Nigeria will be giving tremendous support to Little League programme. The first support came in April 2019 and was for the organisation of the Little League Baseball Clinic and Tournament.In a related development, an American-based Nigerian, Ronke Champion Adeyemi has announced a donation of $1000 (about N360,000) to support the event.Ronke Champion Adeyemi, a sports enthusiast and CEO of Peace Hospice & Palliative Care Chicago (Illinois) in the United States, has been supporting the children empowerment programme since 2012.She has an award of the Most Valuable Player of the tournament named after her by the organisation and it will be given out during the closing ceremony of the tournament on February 19, 2020.Mr Laniyan further confirmed that Ronke, has therefore become the biggest cash donor after the US Consulate General in Lagos to the present programme, while the Dutch Little League contributed a container load of softball equipment to further the development of the game in the country.Laniyan expresses his gratitude and said: “On behalf of Little League communities in Nigeria, I say a big thank you to our friends in The Netherlands for the gift of softball equipment and also to the US Consulate General, Lagos for its constant support.”He added that words cannot express our appreciation to Mrs. Ronke Champion Adeyemi for her usual unflinching support to ensuring the upliftment of Nigerian children through sports.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more