June 9, 2004

TO: Dr. Carl L. Mumpower, Asheville City Council

FROM: Monroe Gilmour, Coordinator
Swannanoa Valley Alliance for Beauty & Prosperity (SVABP
PO Box 1341, Black Mountain, NC 28711

RE: Asheville Watershed: management points/questions

Thank you again for meeting with me on May 28. I appreciated your taking the time to do so and also appreciated your desire to do what is best for the Asheville Watershed (AW), the people of Asheville, and those in the region served by the watershed. You asked me to send you a brief bulleted-page of points/questions that we have concerning the upcoming forestry management proposal for the AW. Below are some management questions that might be asked even before details of the plan are known:

-Why a commercial logging proposal in the first place?

-Didn't Asheville already have this discussion over a decade ago and decide not to log the AW?

-Is this a good time for an AW policy change given confusion over status of Water Agreement?

-Was a base-line ecological assessment done prior to contracting the forestry plan?

-Is generating money the primary purpose of this commercial logging proposal?

-Is the money generated by commercial logging worth the added risks to water quality?

-How much money will be made per year and as a % of annual water dept. revenue?

-Will logging distract an already-stretched staff from water production duties?

-Has a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of commercial logging on the AW been done?

-Is the money generated worth the compromise to security on the AW?

-Will the AW's visual resource to valley and Blue Ridge Parkway be harmed?

-Is managing the AW for timber the only definition of a "healthy" forest?

-Is the City proposing to change the AW's management goal from single-purpose, high-quality water source to the duel-purpose of water AND commercial tree farm?

-What is the time-frame and design for public input in the decision?

We look forward to listening to the presentation at the June 15, 2004 Council 'Work Session' and to participation in the formal presentation to City Council on June 22. I regret that I, myself, will be out of town on June 22, but hope that these questions will be part of the public discussion at that time.

Thank you again and I hope that what is best for the management of the Asheville Watershed will be the outcome of these discussions.

cc: Asheville City Council members
  City Staff
  Regional Water Authority members

Attachment: A fuller version, with comments

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