Yet Another Chattooga Delay, Again...
The Sumter National Forest announced today that the final decision on recreation uses on the upper Wild and Scenic Chattooga River is under internal review and will not be released this month as planned.
“Our timeline has slipped for several reasons,” said Jerome Thomas, forest supervisor for the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests. “First, at the request of our constituents, we extended the public comment period on the pre-decisional Environmental Analysis (EA). We also received more than 3,000 individual emails and letters which had to be analyzed. We’re working hard to complete our work, but we won’t be releasing our final decision until next year.”
The Sumter National Forest's ban on paddling was determined to be in violation of the Wilderness Act and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by the highest office of the US Forest Service in April of 2005. The process for resolving the inconsistent and illegal management of the Chattooga has been plagued by delays at every turn, and the mismanagement continues. American Whitewater has sought protective and nationally consistent management on the Wild and Scenic upper Chattooga River since 1995.