More Chattooga Delays - Another Season Lost
By: Kevin Colburn
American Whitewater has received news that the US Forest Service has failed to meet yet another
deadline in their development of a new recreation management plan on in the upper 21 miles of the
river corridor. In April of 2005 the highest office of the USFS rejected the 2004
management plan which prohibited all boating while allowing other uses to exist in unlimited
numbers without monitoring or active management. The 2005 decision gave the Sumter National
Forest two years to complete a user capacity analysis and reach a new management plan. That
deadline passed in April of 2007. The USFS now expects to release their analysis of the issue
and a proposed action sometime in mid February of 2008. This release will be followed by a
month long comment period, which will then be followed at some point by a decision. The
result of these constant delays is that citizens will be deprived of yet another paddling season on
this federally managed river..
Sometime this spring paddlers will have an opportunity to tell the USFS what we think of their
analysis and proposal.