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Urgent: Save Our Shewbird

Prevent the Destruction of the Top of Shewbird Mountain and the Entire Clay County Landscape

click here to scroll down quickly to the pictures

 

The people of the Lake Chatuge valley and the states of North Carolina and Georgia are about to lose an important regional landmark – the top of Shewbird Mountain, Clay County, North Carolina.  This mountain is visible throughout the Lake Chatuge valley, in both North Carolina and Georgia, and is a very prominent feature whose name many people are not aware of. It now stands at 2900 feet.  The owners of the Hayesville Quarry on the west side of the mountain, want to cut 100 feet off the top of it in order to make gravel.  The mountain will drop to 2800 feet.  Mountaintop removal has become an important method of coal mining in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.  The same technology is now about to be applied to Shewbird.  Destruction of this mountain will have a negative effect on the environment and impair the region’s tourist and real estate businesses.  Hundreds of people who have built houses to capitalize on the view of Shewbird will see their property values drop.  Thousands of people who visit this area each year will go away wondering why the area was worth a visit.

The North Carolina General Statute 74-50 provides that a public hearing may be held regarding this matter, if there is significant public interest. Several adjacent landowners and County Manager Paul Leek have requested such a hearing. Citizens interested in the hearing may call Christine Hicklin, Land Quality Section, Raleigh, 919-733-4574.

The hearing is scheduled for April 2, 2007 at 7PM at the Clay County Senior Center, on Ritter Rd. off Tusquittee St., just northwest of downtown Hayesville.   

Most of the people who will be harmed by the decapitation of Shewbird do not know that they are personally threatened by this development.  Many people who live in Hayesville and Hiawassee do not know the names of the local mountains. To find out whether you are affected, see the photos below.

Shewbird Mountain sits within the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, which was designated by Congress and the President in November 2003 in recognition of the unique character, culture, and natural beauty of Western North Carolina and their significance to the history of our nation.  Clay County is one of 25 North Carolina counties that form part of this area. 

“A National Heritage Area is a place designated by the United States Congress where natural, cultural, historic, and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography.  These patterns make National Heritage Areas representative of the national experience through the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved in the areas.  Continued use of the National Heritage Areas by people whose traditions helped to shape the landscapes enhances their significance.”  The destruction of Shewbird mountain will violate the intent of this law.

 

The pictures below are all of Shewbird Mountain, showing how prominently it features in the Lake Chatuge landscape. Each caption indicates where the picture is taken from.

Chatuge Shores Circle, Hayesville

Chatuge Shores Golf Club, Hayesville

Chatuge Shores Golf Club, Hayesville

Swaims Rd., Hayesville

Barnard Rd., Hayesville

Matheson Cove Rd., Hayesville

The Highlands at Long View Dr., Hayesville

The Highlands at Long View Dr., Hayesville

Smoke Rise Drive, Hayesville

The Quarry at Shewbird Mountain from the top of Smoke Rise Dr., Hayesville

Another prominent view from Smoke Rise Dr., Hayesville

Shewbird Woods, Hayesville, just under the mountain

Lake Chatuge Dam, Hayesville

The view walking west across the top of the dam is mostly of Shewbird

Harris Ridge Rd., Young Harris

Harris Ridge Rd., Young Harris

Furman Gribble Rd. near Meadow Brooke, Young Harris

Daisy Lane & Meadow Brooke Lane, Young Harris

Thunder Oak Dr., Young Harris

Allison Dr., Azalea Cove, Young Harris

Intersection of Lake Lane and Hytop Road, Young Harris

Intersection of Lake Lane and Hytop Road, Young Harris

Sunset Bay Condos, off U.S. 76, Hiawassee

Sunset Bay Condos, off U.S. 76, Hiawassee

Enchantment Way, Hiawassee

Upper Bell Rd., Bell Meadows, Hiawassee

Upper Bell Rd., Bell Meadows, Hiawassee

Upper Bell Rd., Bell Meadows, Hiawassee

View south from the top of Double Knob, Hayesville, with Shewbird the only prominent NC mountain in the foreground of the Georgia mountains

View south from the halfway up Double Knob, Hayesville, with Shewbird the only prominent NC mountain in the foreground of the Georgia mountains

Grandview Rd., Mountain Harbor, Hayesville

Solitude Lane, Cold Branch, with Mountain Harbor Golf Course in foreground, Hayesville

Solitude Lane, Cold Branch, with Mountain Harbor Golf Course in foreground, Hayesville

Solitude Lane, Cold Branch, with Mountain Harbor Golf Course in foreground, Hayesville

Solitude Lane, Cold Branch, with Mountain Harbor Golf Course in foreground, Hayesville

lower part of Eagle's View, Hayesville

lower part of Eagle's View, Hayesville

Upper Eagle's Vew, Hayesville

Upper Eagle's Vew, Hayesville

Chatuge Cove Dr., Chatuge Cove Estates, Hayesville

The Woods of Hunter, Hayesville

lower Dan Knob, Hayesville

lower Dan Knob, Hayesville

lower Dan Knob, Hayesville

Top of Dan Knob, Hayesville

Chatuge Shores Rd., Hiawassee

Chatuge Shores Rd., Hiawassee

Chatuge Shores Rd., Hiawassee

Chatuge Shores Rd., Hiawassee

Jackrabbit Mountain Campground, Hayesville

Jackrabbit Mountain Campground, Hayesville

 

 

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Reproduction without written permission is forbidden for any purposes other than personal use.

Revised: 08 Jan 2009 12:46:15.

 

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