The closure of Canton's century-old paper mill was the focal point of a panel discussion on the challenges facing Western North Carolina's forests.
Climate change, invasive pests, and development pressure were also discussed, but the mill closure is expected to have a significant impact on the regional economy and forest health.
The event, hosted by EcoForesters, brought together conservation and forestry organizations to address the pressing issue. The closure comes at a critical time for forestry in the region, following the adoption of a new management plan for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest. This plan will guide management decisions for the next two decades. Additionally, the closure of the paper mill by Pactiv-Evergreen will affect the demand for timber, while the region experiences increasing demand for housing and outdoor recreation, driving up property values.
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