Moment Of Truth, Concerning The River Walk Property, May Be At Hand Soon ...

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Posted by Rich on September 05, 2000 at 03:02:19:

This is a weekly update from Friends of the Falls, the grass-roots group working to prevent private home development near High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls inside the DuPont State Forest. Please forward this letter to any friends that you think would be interested in this issue.

If you are new to this issue, please go to our website for background information and color photos:

In this issue:

- Anthonys proposal to the State is full of holes

- Public reaction is quite negative to Anthonys proposal

- Governor Hunt back in town; critical decisions to be made soon

- Call for public feedback on Anthonys proposal

- FOTF Steering team wants feedback from our supporters

Anthonys proposal to the State is full of holes

Last Monday, Jim Anthony took his negotiations with the State public in front of the most friendly forum he could find  the Transylvania County Commissioners meeting. Anthony outlined a compromise plan which he says would meet the demands of the public for access to the waterfalls inside the State Forest. As previously reported, the plan falls woefully short of meeting public expectations, by apparently limiting the public to a specified trail and observation deck for each waterfall.

Friends of the Falls has analyzed the other points of his proposal and found them to be quite lacking in specifics. After five months, you would definitely expect that State negotiators would have a legal document spelled out to the finest detail, but indications are that they dont. This reinforces our main point: the only real solution to the problem of a gated community in the middle of a State Forest is total acquisition.

For a full response by FOTF to Anthonys proposal, see

Public reaction quite negative towards Anthonys proposals

Negative reaction towards the restricted access proposal has been fairly universal, starting at the commissioners meeting itself. Thursdays Hendersonville Times-News ran an editorial column rejecting Anthonys proposal as inadequate.

As for opinion polls, the Times-News reported Wednesday that public response to their request for comment ran 2:1 in favor of outright property acquisition. The Times-News man-on-the-street poll in Mills River quoted only 2 of 7 residents favoring Anthonys compromise. WHKP radio reports that its internet polling has run in favor of State acquisition.

See the Times News editorial rejecting Anthonys compromise:

Governor Hunt back in town; decisions expected this week

OK, we admit it . . . there have several false alarms during the past 5 months. Why do we believe that critical decisions may be reached this week? First, Governor Hunt has been out of town for the past three weeks (first the Convention, then a foreign trade trip). Second, the construction moratorium was only extended until this Friday, September 8. Finally, Anthony has apparently dug in his heels by going public with his best offer.

So our best guess is that the Governor will pass judgment on Anthonys best offer some time around September 8th, weighing it against the costs to the State coffers. If necessary, the State would then use the 11 days leading up to the 9/19 Council of State meeting to line up funding for a condemnation. Despite the negative reaction to Anthonys proposals, we believe that continued public support is needed to come up with the money. . .

Call for public feedback on Anthonys proposal

We know that thousands of our supporters contacted Raleigh leading up to the August 1st Council of State meeting. However, Anthonys new proposal gives you a good excuse to let them know your thoughts on the restricted access option. We dont want to wait until the next Council of State meeting to call for letters, because it may be too late.

Go to our quick and easy Contacting Government Leaders page to let Raleigh know your thoughts:

In addition to making calls or sending faxes or emails, we would like to encourage you to write your local newspaper to build support statewide. Please dont assume that this is an issue relevant only in Western NC. A few well-timed letters to the Raleigh News & Observer helped lead to an outright endorsement by that influential paper!! Now we need some statewide coverage of Anthonys inadequate access proposal.

To view sample letters to the editor (to give you inspiration), see:

FOTF Steering team wants feedback from you

Our steering team is constantly energized by the inspiring letters of support and encouragement from our supporters. Still, we would like to encourage each of you to drop us a line and let us know how you think we are doing, and give us any advice you have.

We realize that many of you getting this bulk email may see Friends of the Falls as some faceless group at So perhaps a bit of introduction is in order.

First of all, our emails are read and answered by Woody Keen, one of our most active activists. Woody is an avid mountain biker who lives in Cedar Mountain, and also sells mountain bikes for a living. He personally knows every trail in the DuPont State Forest, and sits on the DSF trail advisory committee. Woody also volunteers for a monthly trail work project in the Forest through the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club.

To see a list of the FOTF Steering team, see:

Thanks for you support!

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