In 2019, the Forest Service will decide how much new wilderness to recommend in the 1.1-million acre Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest. The UGA study demonstrates strong public support across party lines and backgrounds for more wilderness in the Pisgah-Nantahala and other national forests in our region. In addition, the study asked Southerners why they valued wilderness areas. Protecting water and air quality, safeguarding wildlife and rare species habitat, providing scenic beauty, and preserving areas for future generations were the most important benefits of wilderness. Hiking was the most common use of wilderness areas (84%), followed by photography, swimming, and camping. Wilderness designation is a tool for permanent protection of the South’s wildest places, but how do Southerners feel about wilderness areas? With population swelling in the South, should wilderness areas be opened to resource extraction, or are wilderness areas more vital than ever? Of the participants who had actually visited wilderness areas, an overwhelming majority wanted more areas to be protected (88.4%) and wanted areas that were closer to them (83.4%). #1. Southern Nantahala #3. Linville Gorge The findings were surprisingly clear: 89 percent supported the preservation of wilderness areas in their natural condition. Study Highlights #10. Ellicott Rock #8. Blood Mountain Support for wilderness was just about equal across the political spectrum. Conservatives supported the preservation of wilderness about as strongly as liberals and independents, which “demonstrates bipartisan support for the future of wilderness,” the study’s authors concluded. “Across racial groups, political persuasion, and state of residence, it was apparent that individuals were supportive of wilderness and…the need for expansion and creation of new wildernesses. These findings are a reminder of the high value that visitors to the Southern Appalachian mountains place on wilderness, especially when land managers are consdering whether to recommend permanent protection of deserving areas.” #6. Brasstown #4. Big Laurel Branch UGA study reveals that 89 percent of visitors to public land support Wilderness The top-ten most visited wilderness areas in the Southern Appalachians #2. Shining Rock #5. Bald River Gorge A new study from the University of Georgia aimed to answer these questions. Southern Appalachia is home to nearly 50 wilderness areas—all within a few hours of many major cities. The University of Georgia study analyzed responses from 1,250 residents across the region who have visited public lands in the past five years. Over half of survey participants (52%) considered themselves conservative; 28 percent described themselves as liberal, and 21 percent were neither. Over one-third of participants were non-white. 61% of participants even said they’d write a letter to their local member of Congress to support the protection of wilderness. The most constraining barriers to wilderness were “not enough time” and “outdoor pests such as mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks.” Motorized traffic and mechanical timber operations were cited as the least compatible activities with the wilderness experience they were seeking. 89% of participants support the preservation of wilderness areas so they will always exist in their natural condition. #9. Big Frog The study also found that, among those who had visited wilderness, 88 percent supported more wilderness areas; and 81 percent supported protected areas where natural systems can function unimpaired. Nearly 90% of participants said it was important just knowing that wilderness and primitive areas exist and “that future generations will have wilderness areas.” #7. Cohutta The biggest motivator for visiting wilderness was to experience nature (92.8%).
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Lion Air Group will temporarily suspend all domestic flight operations for five days amid passenger confusion over the government’s mandated pre-flight documents.The group said on Wednesday that operations would be suspended between May 27 and 31 so the company could disseminate information about the new boarding requirements via its website and branch offices.“Many potential passengers were unable to continue their journey or fly and had to bear all the expenses, just because they were unaware or misinformed about requirements,” said Lion Air spokesman Danang Mandala Prihantoro in a statement.The airline also maintained that customers with flights slated for such dates may either request a refund or a reschedule. Lion Air Group had resumed operations on May 10 after the government relaxed a ban on all passenger flights. The relaxation was meant to allow certain people, such as officials, medical staff, businessmen, the critically ill and bereaved family members, to fly between cities.However, passengers need to provide certain documents prior to boarding a plane, in compliance with the circular letter No. 4/2020 issued by the COVID-19 task force.Generally, they are required to show their flight ticket, identity card, medical letter stating that they are coronavirus-free, as well as official letters of duty, among other documents.Danang said the air carrier would also use the five-day break to inspect the health of employees involved in previous flights.Last week, the Transportation Ministry suspended a flight operated by Lion Air Group full service subsidiary Batik Air on the Jakarta-Denpasar, Bali route as the airline was found to have violated the physical distancing policy in its operation.The flight in question was filled by more than half the aircraft capacity, which exceeded the maximum capacity allowed by the government regulation.Topics :