...on the Nantahala River
The Forest Service will be accepting applications for up to 12 temporary commercial permits for the Nantahala River in 2011. Permits will be offered to groups such as colleges, universities, camps and clubs who wish to provide instruction and training for hard boat navigation. Permitted groups will be allowed to use the river on Mondays through Thursdays, May 1 to Nov. 10, with three permits allowed per day. Applications will be accepted Feb. 1-28, 2011. If there are more than 12 qualified applicants, permittees will be selected by a lottery system.
According to District Ranger Mike Wilkins, “Public comments on this proposal were solicited on July 20, 2010, with 45 comments received.” Ranger Wilkins also met with various interested parties several times before making a decision. Issues identified were largely around potential congestion and safety issues at Take Out #3 on the Nantahala River, and will be mitigated by a variety of permit restrictions. Temporary permit holders will not be allowed to impede the operations of long-term commercial outfitters. The temporary permit program will be evaluated at the end of the 2011 season to determine if and how many permits should be issued in the future.