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TRNC Agenda 9-8-2023

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Meeting Agenda for Friday, September 8th, 2023, 9-11 a.m.

Transylvania County Community Services Building, 106 E. Morgan St., Brevard, NC 28712

Zoom Link for Virtual Attendees

9:00-10:00…Program:   “Landslide Hazard Mapping for Transylvania County”

 Dr. Jennifer Bauer, Appalachian Landslide Consultants 10:00-11:00  Business Meeting:

Welcome & Introductions Approval of April Meeting Minutes Land Manager Updates

Committee Member Updates Wild & Scenic River Resolution New Business:

NC Bradford Pear Bounty Program

MountainTrue Septic Repair Grant (expanded service area)

Tentative Programs Schedule:

TNRC Speakers (2023)
Date Spe aker Affiliation Topic


Dr. Jennifer Bauer

Appalachian Landslide Consultants

Landslide Hazard Mapping for Transylvania County




Possible future programs:

  1. NC Growth – Smart UP Field Guide to Blueways
  2. Geology of Appalachian Mountains (Michael Follo)
  3. Regional Wildlife Passage Projects – Wildlands Network (Liz Hilliard)
  4. User/entrance/parking fees for public recreational areas
  5. Updated Forest Plan (USFS)
  6. Rescues and Safety on Public Lands
  7. Ecusta Trail Updates (COB)
  8. Chronic Wasting Disease within White-tailed Deer (NCWRC)
  9. Mussels of the French Broad Announcements:

The next regular meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, October 13th from 9-11 a.m. at the Community Services Building, located at 106 E. Morgan St., Brevard.


WHEREAS, the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act is our nation’s strongest form of protection for free-flowing rivers and streams that have remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic or other similar values; and

WHEREAS, a Wild & Scenic River designation, herein referred to as “WSR”, ensures that the free-flowing condition, water quality, and outstandingly remarkable values of these rivers are protected from overuse, instream developments, and other impacts that do not enhance these values; and

WHEREAS, the reach of the North Fork of the French Broad River located solely on public lands as identified in Exhibit A (attached), herein referred to as the “North Fork Gorge”, is an important historic, economic, recreational, and natural resource for Transylvania County and the State of North Carolina; and

WHEREAS, the North Fork Gorge is treasured by local residents of all income, ages, and abilities who engage in fishing, paddling, swimming, hunting, and other forms of healthy outdoor recreation; and

WHEREAS, the North Fork Gorge is critically important to the economic future of Transylvania County because it supports anglers, boaters, hikers, and other visitors interested in river-related recreation who patronize local businesses; and

WHEREAS, the fish occupying the North Fork Gorge are a source of food and sport for many Transylvania County residents; and

WHEREAS, the whitewater contained within the North Fork Gorge is the most famous and used section of whitewater in Transylvania County and as such, the whitewater paddling community widely supports a WSR designation for the North Fork Gorge; and

WHEREAS, the NC Department of Water Resources has collected baseline water quality for the entirety of the North Fork of the French Broad River that demonstrates excellent preexisting water quality and critical in-stream habitat supporting regionally imperiled aquatic species such as the eastern hellbender salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis); and

WHEREAS, designating the North Fork Gorge as a WSR as it flows through public land is respectful of and has no effect on surrounding private property rights; and

WHEREAS, the Council’s review of a case study of a past WSR designation on the Horsepasture River revealed that such a designation does not automatically trigger changes in water quality classifications for the contributing watershed that could limit private property rights; and

WHEREAS, the rural community of Balsam Grove, which lies within the contributing watershed to the North Fork Gorge, would thereby not be subjected to additional restrictions on land development; and

WHEREAS, Transylvania County residents have a history of opposing new dams on the North Fork of the French Broad River dating back over 50 years, and have helped serve as river stewards in partnership with the US Forest Service; and

WHEREAS, the US Forest Service, through their recent Forest Plan Update (approved May 2023), has identified the North Fork Gorge as eligible for designation under the federal Wild & Scenic River Act; and

WHEREAS, a WSR designation for the North Fork Gorge would allow the US Forest Service to make future management decisions regarding stewardship of the river’s remarkable values and prevent their degradation from overuse; and

WHEREAS, WSR designation is accomplished through an act of Congress, and Transylvania County plays a vital role in supporting this Congressional action;

THEREFORE, The Transylvania Natural Resources Council hereby recommends that our county, state, and federal elected officials support legislation to designate the reach of the North Fork of the French Broad River located solely on public lands as identified in Exhibit A (attached); as a federal Wild and Scenic River.