Media Releases

New Forest Plan Will Have Big Impact on Birds

Audubon is paying close attention to new Nantahala Pisgah National Forest Revision.

Golden-winged Warbler female carrying nest material. Photo: Ed Burress

DURHAM, NC (Feb. 14, 2020) – “Today, the U.S. Forest Service released a new forest plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement that are critical to the future of western North Carolina’s forests and the birds that depend on them, including rare and threatened species like the Golden-winged Warbler and beloved songbirds like the Wood Thrush. Audubon is committed to getting this forest plan right, making sure it balances the needs of people who use our public lands while promoting healthier forests for birds and communities. We look forward to reviewing the plan over the coming weeks. We also thank the Forest Service for leading a transparent and open process thus far, and all our partners for engaging with us over the past five years to help shape the plan,” said Curtis Smalling, director of conservation at Audubon North Carolina.

The Nantahala and Pisgah forests cover more than 1 million acres in western North Carolina and include some of our state’s most important bird habitat.

For more information, read our primer on the plan. We’ll also be hosting web presentations and informational meetings with Audubon chapters in western North Carolina. Sign up to receive updates on upcoming forest plan events from Audubon!

Read the plan itself here, and check out public meetings hosted by the Forest Service:

  • March 10, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Foothills Conference Center, 2128 S. Sterling St., Morganton, NC.
  • March 12, 5:30-8:30 pm at the NC Arboretum Education Center, 100 Frederick Law Olmstead Way, Asheville, NC (The Arboretum will be open to attendees as early as 4:30 pm. The parking fee is waived and each attendee will receive a parking pass. Pets are not allowed in the facility.)
  • March 16, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Rogow Family Community Room, Brevard Library, 212 S. Gaston St., Brevard, NC.
  • March 19, 5:30-8:30 pm at the Brasstown Community Center, 255 Settawig Rd., Brasstown, NC.
  • March 24, 5:30-8:30 pm at First Presbyterian Church's Tartan Hall, 26 Church Street, Franklin, NC.
  • March 26, 5:30-8:30 pm at Bentley Fellowship Hall, 265 Cascade St, Mars Hill, NC.

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

Audubon North Carolina, a state program of the National Audubon Society, has offices in Durham, Boone, Corolla, and Wilmington. Learn more at and on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.​

Media contact: Ben Graham,, 919-880-3793

How you can help, right now