Clear-cut Logging has its Advantages

As much as I despise clear cutting, I must admit that it sometimes can have unexpected benefits, and that was never more evident than along a stretch of Bill’s Creek Road just northwest of Lake Lure. This byway connects Interstate 40 to the north with the Lake and Chimney Rock.  There are no National Forests or Preserves in this area, and no State Park lands, so logging, especially over the past five years, has produced needed income to families who have owned these ridges for generations. Unfortunately, large swaths of thick forests have just disappeared in a matter of weeks, leaving giant scars across the mountains that will take years to heal.  Replanting is not in the equation, and the erosion of topsoil with heavy rains makes the problem even worse.

Such is the case with hundreds of acres just west of Bill’s Creek Road, and three miles northeast of the Lake. I’ve lived here for over ten years, and I never knew what had been hidden by the thick forest until the trees were gone. Suddenly, there was a ridge and a series of gullies and hills that had never been visible before.  In spite of the scars, it was actually quite breathtaking.

clear cut 3Luckily, some of the trees were not cut down…

Vann

A gravel road runs along the top of the ridge, above, so I drove there to see what I could find. I was amazed by the spectacular vistas that greeted me.

blue ridges 1View toward the northeast mountains…

east ridgesView toward the east of South Mountains State Park…

caddy

blue ridges 4The higher I climbed, the better the view…

blue ridges 6To the north was 3,100 foot Hickory Nut Mountain…

mapleMaples were already beginning to turn…

blue ridges 9This is Tom’s Mountain, now called New Forest Mountain….

blue ridges 7This view didn’t exist three months ago…

Just south of this ridge is an area called Laurel Lakes…laurel lake

laurel lake 1That’s 2,600 foot Young’s Mountain on the western horizon…

sugarloaf mtnTo the South is 4,000 foot Sugarloaf Mountain, with Lake Lure down in the valley…

shumont 1Most impressive are 3,200 foot Rumbling Bald Mountain to the left, and 4,100 foot Mount Shumont, with their rocky outcroppings so beloved by rock climbers. These rugged peaks remind me of the Swiss Alps, with the clear Lake 3,000 feet below.

One more impression of the vista opened up by clear-cut logging….blu e ridges 8Usually these views are reserved for the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Thank you loggers…

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Clear-cut Logging has its Advantages

  1. As in Chesterfield Co Sc. and Anson Co. N.C Carolina Sandhills. land owners must replant these clear cut forest with the modern pest resistant pines to ensure the land quality and provide wild life an environment But first best spread a good Quality Grass and clover mix . Your photos are beautiful as always. Vann..

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