Press Coverage from Nov 30th Meeting: OWASA Plan To Thin Its Woodland Draws Fire At Community Meeting | NBC17.com.
Next Meeting is Thursday December 9th at OWASA
Also see http://www.orangecountyvoice.org/
From their site:
OWASA to Unveil Logging Plan for Watershed Land
OWASA will unveil its draft Forestry Management Plan on Tuesday, Noovenber 30th, 7:00 PM at the Maple View Agricultural Education Center, 3501 Dairyland Road. The plan covers 1900 acres of land in the Cane Creek protected watershed.
The draft plan, which is on OWASA’s website (click here),describes a long term program to clearcut and/or thin high value timber, apply herbicides and plant loblolly pines for future harvesting. Rural and town residents are concerned about the impact on runoff, wildlife habitats and water quality. While commonplace for commercial timbering operations, it is unclear how the plan aligns with OWASA’s water quality goals.
OWASA is accepting public input on the plan throught December 1st. The OWASA board of directors will meet on December 9th to decide whether or not to pursue the plan. A community advocacy group has formed to inform citizens on how to voice concerns to OWASA leaders and elected officials. The community website is: www.ChapelHillWaterQuality.com .
Please join your neighbors, elected officials and others to hear OWASA’s presentation at the Maple View Ag Center on Tuesday, November 30th.. (11/27/2010)
From “Protect Our Water”:
In November 2010, the Orange County Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) unveiled a forest management plan for 1900 acres in Orange and Chatham Counties.
The plan, which calls for the logging and herbicidal spraying of hundreds of acres around Orange County’s main source of drinking water, the Cane Creek Reservoir, has stirred the concern of elected officials and citizens in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
The plan, which was devised by the Holly Springs-based forestry company, True North, does not include accommodations for the unique circumstances that logging around a public water supply presents. The clear-cutting of hundreds of acres of land adjacent to the local water supply threatens municipal waters in many ways.
- It destroys the natural filtration, and erosion control, provided by woodlands
- It threatens to increase water temperatures, which causes the growth of algae blooms and other harmful bacteria and pathogens
- It creates increased risks of fecal-based phosphates and nitrogen, primary sources for toxic algae blooms
- It threatens to destabilize delicate ecosystems adjacent to the Cane Creek Reservoir
- It threatens the local hydrograph by replacing deciduous forests with pine monocultures
- It puts all area forests at risk by replacing age-diverse and species-diverse forests with commercial monocultures, which are more susceptible to diseases
- It puts the drinking water supply at greater risk from human pollutants, illegal dumping and fire by building new roads into forests around the Reservoir
The proposed logging plan, which follows OWASA’s loss of profits due to water usage decline, positions the public company to profit from the sale of timber.
However, the true cost of this plan will be paid by OWASA’s customers, who could see their water quality decline, and local forest habitats, which OWASA will begin logging in the Spring of 2011.
Concerned citizens and elected officials will share their concerns with OWASA at a meeting set for Tuesday, November 30th, at 7 p.m., at the Maple View Agricultural Center on Dairyland Road.
Please come on November 30th and share your concerns with OWASA.
All citizens are also encouraged to e-mail letters of concern to OWASA’s Board of Directors, by December 2, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous Buckhorn Mitigation Tract Clearcut done by OWASA
Most intense logging to happen along "protected" Cane Creek Reservoir West of Carrboro close to Hwy 54.