DANIEL M. RANKIN, EDITOR
PAUL A. SANDIFER, Ph. D., DIRECTOR
W. BROCK CONRAD, DEPUTY DIRECTOR
May 8, 1998
I. Public Involvement 1
A. Public Meeting Process 1
B. Consultation with Conservation Groups 3
II. Guiding Management Principles 4
III. Introduction 7
A. History 7
B. Project Description 15
C. Management Plan Development 16
D. Plan Implementation and Management 17
E. Resource Description 18
IV. Primary Management Objectives 28
V. Secondary Management Objectives 29
VI. Natural Resource Monitoring and Management 29
A. Archaeological Resources and Surveys 30
B. Biological Surveys and Monitoring 30
C. Natural Resource Management 38
D. Technical Assistance 42
VII. Forest Management 44
A. General Approach 44
B. Forest Management Guidelines 46
C. Forest Health 47
D. Wildfire Control 48
VIII. Road Access and Maintenance Plan 49
A. Vehicle Access 49
B. Road Maintenance 52
IX. Outdoor Recreation 53
A. Hunting 55
B. Fishing 55
C. Hiking 56
D. Camping 58
E. Horseback Riding 59
F. Mountain Bike Riding (Non-motorized) 60
G. Off Highway Vehicle / All Terrain Vehicle Access 61
H. Rock Climbing and Rappelling 61
I. Miscellaneous Activities 61
X. Powerline Rights of Way (ROW): Duke Electric Transmission 62
A. Public Access 63
B. Wildlife Management 63
C. Protection of Unique Natural Resources 64
D. Management Planning Process and Schedule for the ROWs 65
XI. Education Opportunities 66
XII. Sign Plan for Property 66
XIII. Law Enforcement Assessment 67
A. Personnel 68
B. Training 69
C. Traditional Fish and Wildlife Enforcement 69
D. Search and Rescue 72
E. Property Crime 73
F. Liaison with Other Divisions/Agencies 73
G. Equipment 74
XV. Budgetary Issues 76
A. Management Funding for Jocassee Gorges / Trust Fund 76
B. User Fees 77
XVI. References 78
XVII. Appendices 86
Appendix A 87
Appendix B 118
XVIII. Glossary 120
I. PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
A. PUBLIC MEETING PROCESS
A public meeting concerning management of Jocassee Gorges was held on January 8, 1998, at Pickens High School. Approximately 800 people attended the meeting to provide management suggestions. The group was briefed on the Jocassee Gorges area, after which the entire group was split up into 20 rooms to allow all attendees an equal opportunity to express their ideas. Dr. Chris Sieverdes of Clemson University, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, conducted the meeting. Each room had a facilitator and a recorder. The facilitators allowed each person to state issues they felt should be considered in the management plan, and recorders recorded the ideas. Each participant was given equal opportunity to discuss the importance of his issue(s) before the group. At the end of the discussion, each participant was given the opportunity to vote five times on the management issues they felt were most important. A compilation of all issues presented along with the number of votes they received is presented in Appendix A-1. The top five issues raised in each of the 20 facilitated working groups is presented in Appendix A-2.
Many letters, resolutions, petitions, and phone calls regarding management of the property also were received prior to development of a management plan. This information was thoroughly reviewed and considered by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) staff.
Following this process, a draft Jocassee Gorges Resource Management Plan was prepared by SCDNR staff with assistance from a committee composed of representatives from South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT), South Carolina Forestry Commission (SCFC), Duke Power Company (DPC), and Crescent Resources, Inc. (CRI). The management plan was placed in public libraries in Oconee, Pickens, Greenville, and Anderson Counties for public review on March 19, 1998. The plan was placed in 17 SCDNR offices state-wide and was available on the SCDNR web site. On March 16, 1998, The SCDNR issued a state-wide news release publicizing the availability of the plan, where public comments on the plan could be directed, and announced upcoming public meetings where the plan would be available for review and comments. Two additional public meetings were held; one on March 26, 1998 in Pickens and another on April 2, 1998 in Columbia, to gather public comments on the draft management plan. SCDNR staff was available during both public meetings to answer questions and discuss the plan with the public. All attendees were allowed to vote to express their approval or disapproval of the plan, and to provide written or oral comments on the plan. Votes received during both public meetings were compiled. Results of the voting were as follows: Fifty-seven (57) individuals indicated they supported the draft plan without change; Ninety-nine individuals (99) supported the draft plan with minor changes; Thirty-six individuals (36) indicated they did not support the draft plan; Two individuals did not enter a vote on the plan.
A SCDNR news release set a deadline of April 9, 1998 for any additional public comments on the management plan. All ideas concerning the draft management plan that were received through public hearings, letters, E-mail, personal contacts, consultations with conservation groups, etc. were thoroughly considered by SCDNR staff. A summary of major issues brought forth are included in Appendix A-3.
The variety of issues proposed to SCDNR throughout the entire public planning process are wide-ranging and diverse. In the area of natural resource management and recreational opportunities, public comments have emphasized the need for scientific-based, multi-use management, and opportunities for the public. This plan strives to incorporate all public comment received to date.
Management decisions will be made using the premise that the natural resources and character of the area are of primary importance. Natural resource recreation that is compatible with the area's natural character is considered and addressed. Initial economic constraints (currently no funding available for management) have forced many good issues to be reconsidered at a future time. For example, SCDNR has received numerous requests for "reasonable access". Initial funding may not allow for two vehicular access points into the main section of the Jocassee Gorges. When funding allows, a second access will be provided. The most important issue with the public has been to "maintain the status quo" or provide the same opportunities as in the past. This plan meets that expectation while striving to improve in the area of natural resource conservation.
B. CONSULTATION WITH CONSERVATION GROUPS
A number of conservation organizations have a history of working voluntarily on the
protection and enhancement of natural resources in the Jocassee Gorges and on the upkeep
of user facilities within the area (trails, etc.). SCDNR has consulted with
representatives of many of these conservation organizations. Consultations have involved a
review of 1) the draft management plan, 2) the natural resource projects that these
organizations have been involved with in the Jocassee Gorges, and 3) the items that the
organizations think are pertinent for planning, protection and management of the area's
natural resources. Consultations have, in some cases, identified areas where conservation
organizations can assist SCDNR in managing the property, possibly through volunteer
efforts. The SCDNR will continue to consult these groups on a routine basis in order to
ensure a complete review of ongoing activities and to gain important planning input.
II. GUIDING MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES
The Jocassee Gorges property is positioned on the Blue Ridge Escarpment, a physiographic region important for its abundant rainfall, high-gradient streams and unique habitats. It is at the northern or southern range limit of numerous plant and animal species. Several species endemic to the region are found within its boundaries. The property has 171 known occurrences of rare, threatened or endangered plant and animal species, according to the department's Heritage Trust database. This is by far the highest density of such occurrences in South Carolina; therefore, the property is of highest priority for protection as a large area project by the South Carolina Heritage Trust Program.
The property will be evaluated for possible dedication as a Heritage Preserve under the South Carolina Heritage Trust Program. Options include dedicating all, portions, or none of the 32,000 acre tract. The Heritage Trust enabling legislation stipulates that no more than 100,000 acres may be acquired for dedication throughout the state, and the current amount of dedicated acreage is approximately 75,000. The merits of using a substantial portion of the remaining acreage allocation at Jocassee Gorges will need to be weighed against the anticipated needs of the Heritage Trust Program for present and future projects in other locations in the state. Regardless, this management plan will provide protection for rare, threatened and endangered species just as would a management plan written under the Heritage Trust Program.
The size of this tract and its position among other public properties with substantial stands of hardwood and pine-hardwood forest contribute further to its significant ecological, scenic and recreational attributes. Jocassee Gorges lands harbor a substantial portion of the State's trout streams, including important native brook trout habitat. The property also provides essential habitat for the region's black bear population. Because of its size and position on the Blue Ridge Escarpment, the property provides important habitat for eight species of neotropical migratory songbirds considered by ornithologists to be species of concern.
The primary management objective for the Jocassee Gorges property is to maintain the natural character of the area while protecting, maintaining, restoring and or enhancing significant plant, fish and wildlife communities and their habitats. The secondary objective is to provide for recreation that is compatible with the area's natural character.
The Jocassee Gorges property provides tremendous opportunities for scientific study and surveys. Some funding for biological research and inventory will be included in the management budget, and partnerships will be established with the region's research organizations to carry out a program of studies centering on the property. In addition, federal and other research funds will be sought as appropriate to support short- and long-term studies in the area.
A detailed forest management plan compatible with the objectives stated above will be developed in cooperation with the South Carolina Forestry Commission (SCFC) following acquisition of the property. The SCDNR will conduct timber harvesting operations to enhance habitat and biodiversity and to sustain forest health. The SCDNR will not conduct commercial logging operations or other resource extraction methods solely to generate funds for management purposes. A portion of the property will be reserved for restoring and maintaining late-successional forests. The forest management plan will identify tracts of planted pine that may be converted to pine-hardwood or mixed-hardwood stands at appropriate times. The potential for use of rotational timber harvesting on suitable sites to maintain various successional stages beneficial to targeted wildlife species and forest health will also be addressed in the forest management plan. This will occur at suitable sites using harvesting and regeneration practices appropriate for Jocassee Gorges objectives. No timber will be harvested until a detailed forest management plan has been made available for public review and then is approved by the SCDNR Board.
Watershed management practices will be used to protect lakes, perennial streams and their intermittent tributaries, springs, wetlands and other valuable public resources. Riparian and shoreline buffer zones of appropriate sizes will be established and protected from land-disturbing activities except those necessary to manage the property.
Traditional recreational uses of the property such as hunting, fishing, and hiking will be continued. Access for public use will be maintained and improved. New access areas, activities and facilities may be proposed and evaluated on a case by case basis for compatibility with the primary management objective.
Management practices to support traditional uses will include maintaining a suitable distribution of forest successional stages and stocking of native or non-native fish in suitable waters and in appropriate sizes and numbers. Survey and inventory of fish and wildlife populations and other management practices that are judged necessary to maintain or enhance sport or nongame species populations will be conducted in suitable areas. Streams supporting trout populations will be given priority for management to maintain aquatic communities.
Law enforcement will be a major component of the overall management plan. Directed and random patrols will be relied upon for both deterrence and apprehension. The protection of resources and the safety of persons using those resources will be paramount in all enforcement activities.
The recorded history of the Jocassee Gorges area dates back to 1539 when Hernando deSoto explored the area. South of what is now Lake Jocassee Dam was once Keowee Village or Keowee Town, the capital of the Lower Cherokee Indians. Keowee Village was located just across the Keowee River (Oconee side) near the confluence of Crowe Creek and Keowee River. In 1690 James Moore led a British expedition through the area in search of gold.
Current area names are derived from the Cherokee language (Blue, 1997). Names such as "Jocassee," "Keowee," "Toxaway," "Eastatoee," and "Oconee" reflect the Native American history of the area. Keowee meant "The Place of the Mulberry" and "Uk-OO-Na" (Oconee) meant "watery eyes of the hills." This word undoubtedly described the many springs, streams and creeks that drain off the Blue Ridge Escarpment.
The Vale of Jocassee was home to the Cherokee Indian Nation. It now lies some 300 feet beneath the surface of Lake Jocassee, near the Toxaway River and Whitewater River confluence, approximately one-half mile north of Jocassee Dam. Jocassee and its meaning are derived from the legend of a Cherokee maiden. Chief Attakulla and his Oconee tribe, known as the "Brown Vipers," lived on the west side of the Whitewater River. The Eastatoees, a rival tribe, lived on the east and were called the "Green Birds." It is likely that the Green Birds received their name from the Carolina parakeet (Conoropsis carolinensis), a species that became extinct in 1904. This was the only endemic parrot of North America. The Eastatoee area was the last site the species was recorded in South Carolina. Legend has it that a young warrior named Nagoochee lived among the Green Birds but was not afraid to enter Brown Viper hunting grounds. One day while hunting in Brown Viper territory (probably the area known as Musterground today), Nagoochee fell and broke his leg. Nagoochee was convinced he would perish in the wilderness, when he heard the singing of Jocassee, Chief Attakulla's daughter. Jocassee took Nagoochee back to her father's lodge and nursed him back to health. They fell in love and Nagoochee stayed with the Oconee tribe. Later during a fight between the tribes, Jocassee's brother, Cheochee, killed Nagoochee. When Cheochee returned from battle with Nagoochee's head dangling from his belt, Jocassee didn't say a word. She slipped into a canoe and onto the water. As Jocassee still gazed at the head of her lover, she stepped into the water. Legend claims that she did not sink but walked across the water to meet the ghost of Nagoochee. The name Jocassee means "Place of the Lost One."
By the late 1700s, trade routes between the Cherokees and Europeans were well established (Hembree and Jackson, 1995) . Keowee Village or Keowee Town was a central "hub" along the Indian trading path that connected Cherokee towns and villages throughout eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and northwestern South Carolina with the Atlantic Ocean. In 1732, traders delivered more than 200,000 deerskins, which had resulted from trading with Cherokees, to Charleston. Cherokees became well supplied with European firearms, ammunition, tools and clothing. In 1730, Sir Alexander Cummings came to Keowee Village from England and made a treaty of friendship with the Cherokees. By the mid 1700s, however, the relationship among the Cherokees, European settlers, and traders was growing tense. In response, the colony of South Carolina placed a trade embargo on the Cherokees in 1751, and Governor James Glen ordered construction of Fort Prince George just across the river from Keowee Village in 1753 (McKown, 1988). The tensions between Europeans and Cherokees escalated and resulted in the war on the Cherokees in 1759-1760. In November 1785, General Andrew Pickens hosted a large gathering of Indian chiefs along the banks of the Keowee River. On November 28, 1785, a treaty was signed that gave all of the "Jocassee Gorges" land area, with the exception of northern Oconee County, to the United States. It would not be until December 1835 that the Oconee mountains of Jocassee Gorges were ceded to the United States. This controversial treaty, signed by a very small representation of Indians, granted the United States all the Indian territory east of the Mississippi.
The unique and rare natural resources of the area were observed and noted as early as 1788, when French botanist Andre Michaux discovered a rare wildflower with pink-white blossoms at the confluence of the Toxaway and Whitewater rivers (now under Lake Jocassee). This rare wildflower, the Oconee bell, is native to only a few counties in the Blue Ridge area.
In the late 1700s European settlers began moving into the region. Settlers came to the Horsepasture, Laurel Fork, Big and Little Canebrakes, Musterground, and other portions on the Jocassee Gorges property as early as the 1780s, when the land was still under Cherokee control. The new Indian line (boundary) was finally delineated and marked around 1797.
European settlers to the Horsepasture, Laurel Fork, and Big and Little Canebrake primarily came in by way of Eastatoee Valley. The settlers, mostly of Scotch and Irish descent, had generally originated from Virginia and Pennsylvania (Wyche and Kilgo, 1997). Others came from Charleston to the Horsepasture area (Turner and Sherrill, 1997). Land grants in the Jocassee area were recorded as far back as 1791.
During this era, professional market hunters, called long hunters because of their long rifles, hunted the ridges and gorges of the property. The market hunters had a camp in North Carolina called Puncheon Camp. The hunters primarily shot bears and deer, preserved the meat and hides, and later sold them in Asheville, Greenville, Spartanburg, and coastal towns.
Over time more people moved into the mountains and mountain valleys. Early settlers travelled the area along the well-established network of Cherokee trails and trade routes. With sweat and determination, settlers carved farms and homes into the rugged and remote land of the gorges. Their life was difficult and is perhaps best described by C.T. Wyche, and J. Kilgo in The Blue Wall. "They survived by growing corn and making liquor, raising hogs and rearing children. Tough and independent, they married among themselves, forming strong ties of blood kinship. They built schools and churches, opened stores and ran grist mills .... a boy plowing a mule through rocky ground; a man hauling corn to his still in the gorge, then moving that still by night because of the rumor of a revenuer; a woman with raw hands humming a tune in a minor key as she hangs out clothes in a cold wind; a congregation singing a capella in a plain, unpainted church; a couple burying a little girl who died of diphtheria. All that living and dying. All those stories." Many thriving communities once could be found in the Jocassee Gorges.
Several schools existed in the early days in the Jocassee Gorges area. One of the earliest schools was the Laurel Fork School on Laurel Fork Creek. The Horsepasture school (1923-1940) was built to educate area youth (Simmons, 1983). This school was constructed on top of the ridge between Toxaway River and Laurel Fork Creek. The school's first teacher, Dr. Frank Finley, an Easley dentist, was instrumental in the development of the school. Dr. Finley is also well known for his line of bluetick coonhounds, developed in the Jocassee Valley. A school house also once existed near Cane Creek.
In 1916, the Toxaway Dam in North Carolina failed. The flooding down the Toxaway River removed much of the fertile topsoil and deposited rocks and boulders on the family farms. After this flood it was difficult for homesteaders to make a living off the land.
The collective local name "Horsepasture" evolved over time, beginning in Civil War days. Area residents reportedly drove their horses and cattle over the mountain to a broad valley at the forks of Toxaway River and Laurel Fork Creek. Here they successfully hid their livestock from Sherman's advancing army. This area became known as the Horsepasture and the middle fork of the Toxaway River, formerly known as the Green River, was renamed the Horsepasture River. During the "dust bowl era" of the 1920s, livestock from the West were transported by rail to the Horsepasture. Cattle were "free ranged" until grazing conditions improved in the west. Local residents conducted head counts of the cattle for the federal government.
The advent of the railroad brought the textile industry to the upstate. Around the turn of the century, many mountain inhabitants migrated from their isolated homesteads to work in the local town mills. Their land was generally sold or abandoned and auctioned for back taxes. Those who stayed in the Jocassee area primarily resided around Jocassee Valley, which became somewhat of a tourist destination. Others relied on moonshining and the timber industry that evolved.
As the timber industry emerged, partially as a result of the industrial boom in the region (Bloomer 1997), large timbers and lumber were cut to build factories and construct houses to shelter mill workers. The mountains and foothills of Pickens and Oconee counties provided the timber to satisfy much of those building needs. Another factor contributing to the emerging timber industry was the dwindling timber resources available in northeast forests. Big lumber companies looked to the virgin stands in the South for new sources of timber and began to purchase large tracts of mountain land. This would become the source of timber to supply both the local market and the nation's timber demand. These early purchases by large timber companies were the beginning of the land acquisitions that eventually led to what we now refer to as the Jocassee Gorges.
Many timber companies have held title to this property. Saluda River Lumber Co., Montvale Lumber Company, Southern Lumber Company and Carolina Timber Company were some of the owners of the Horsepasture property. The more recent owners were Appalachian Forest Corporation, Poinsett Lumber Company and Crescent Resources, Inc. Appalachian Forest Corporation built a logging railroad into the Eastatoee Creek area for the purpose of shipping harvested logs from the mountains to the sawmills in Pickens. The railroad followed the easiest grade into the coves and hollows of the property. The company's primary interest was to harvest yellow poplar and oak timber that grew in the mountain coves and mid slopes of these rugged hills. Often times the railroad bed was constructed next to the stream bed itself. Horses were used to skid the logs downhill to the rails. The logs were then loaded on rail cars and shipped to Pickens where they were sawed into lumber. Today, remnants of the old railroad system (grades and railroad iron) are evident along some of the stream beds.
Poinsett Lumber Company, a subsidiary of Singer Sewing Machine Company, took possession of the land around 1939 and abandoned the railroad system. Poinsett constructed roads into the mountains and hauled the logs out on trucks to its Pickens mill. Hardwood lumber was used to build sewing machine cabinets. Singer's timber operation continued for 24 years. At the end of its ownership, Poinsett had completed one rotation and had begun to harvest the timber a second time.
In 1963, Duke Power Company (a Duke Energy Company, or DEC) formed Carolina Land and Timber Company, which purchased an 83,400-acre tract of land in the Horsepasture area from Singer Corporation and private landowners. Duke Power Company (DPC) announced construction of the Keowee Toxaway Project on January 2, 1965, and began development in 1967. The construction resulted in the formation of 18,400-acre Lake Keowee and 7,500-acre Lake Jocassee.
Carolina Land and Timber became Crescent Land and Timber Company (currently Crescent Resources, Inc., a Duke Energy Company) in 1969. Crescent Resources has managed the Jocassee property since that time. Similar to previous timber companies, Crescent's goal was to generate income from commercial timber harvest. Under Crescent's management consideration was given to social and environmental concerns for the first time. Crescent Resources continued to harvest timber and began reforestation efforts to meet future forest products needs.
In December 1964, the South Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (currently the SCDNR) negotiated a formal agreement with Duke Power Company and Crescent Resources Inc. (CRI) to include the lands of Jocassee Gorges in the department's Game Management Area Program (currently WMA Program). Although past timber companies had allowed access to hunting and fishing, this landmark agreement established formal public access.
The agreement also led to more intensive wildlife management programs. A SCDNR wildlife biologist was assigned to the area in 1965. Deer and wild turkey stockings began that year. Seventy-five deer from South Carolina's coastal plain counties were stocked in the Horsepasture over a four-year period. Four turkey hens were released in 1965. Additional wild turkey stockings (25 birds) were completed in the 1970s.
Fish management efforts in Jocassee Gorges streams date back at least to the 1930s when the Chief Game Warden for South Carolina managed trout stocking from the Cleveland State Trout Hatchery, Table Rock State Hatchery, and Walhalla National Fish Hatchery (SCDNR, 1935-1962). A trout stocking program during this period was necessary to provide fishing opportunities following the stream habitat devastation caused by logging and public access. Jocassee Gorges stream monitoring efforts began in 1965 with the hiring of the first area SCDNR fishery biologist. Fish habitat and populations were investigated and improved. Trout stocking efforts continued with a higher level of monitoring and improvement of techniques. In 1966, some of the first instream habitat improvement structures were placed in Little Eastatoee Creek, on Duke Property.
Biologists have long recognized the tremendous biodiversity of plant and animal life in the Jocassee Gorges area. They have conducted preliminary surveys of plant and animal communities and have documented the occurrence of rare, threatened and endangered elements. Eastatoee Gorge Heritage Preserve (374 acres) was transferred from Duke Power Company to the SCDNR in 1979 in recognition of the extremely diverse flora occurring there.
Those participating in hunting, fishing, hiking, nature observation and other forms of outdoor activity have benefitted greatly from wildlife, fisheries and law enforcement efforts conducted under the WMA Program. The WMA Program on the Jocassee land over the past 34 years has served as a catalyst for a very positive cooperative working relationship between SCDNR, DPC, and CRI (Van Lear et al., 1994; and Van Lear et al. 1996). This positive relationship fostered the Jocassee Gorges land acquisition project for the state of South Carolina.
B. JOCASSEE GORGES PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The Jocassee Gorges project in South Carolina encompasses approximately 42,500 acres. Approximately 4,000 acres along the western portion of the property (Tater Hill and upper Howard Creek parcels) will be purchased later and managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). In addition, approximately 6,500 acres will be placed under a conservation easement granted to the SCDNR. It is anticipated that this property will continue to be managed by DPC under consultation with the SCDNR, and it will remain under the Wildlife Management Area Program. While the SCDNR will be involved in the management of the aforementioned properties, this conceptual management plan more specifically addresses the remaining 32,000 acres purchased by The Conservation Fund and the State of South Carolina and the 1,000-acre Laurel Fork tract purchased under the Heritage Trust Program.
The property is described as having a western boundary that approximates the Toxaway River drainage in northern Oconee County to a common eastern boundary adjoining the Greenville Water System and Table Rock State Park in Pickens County. The northern boundary is the North Carolina-South Carolina state line. On the southern boundary the property is situated north of Highway 11. A map delineating the property acquisition is presented (Appendix B-1 -Map of Jocassee Gorges Property).
C. MANAGEMENT PLAN DEVELOPMENT
The SCDNR has been involved with managing the natural resources of the Jocassee Gorges over recent decades. In 1998, SCDNR will assume ownership of approximately 24,000 acres of the property and is therefore developing more comprehensive plans for protection and management. The remaining 8,000 acres are scheduled to come into state ownership by the end of 1999. In developing this plan, the SCDNR has initiated formation of partnerships with other state and federal resource agencies, universities, conservation organizations and civic groups. Additionally, SCDNR is holding a series of public meetings or forums at which interested citizens can voice their opinions on management of Jocassee Gorges. Periodic public meetings to evaluate how well the plan is working are planned for the future. Also, written and electronically transmitted (e-mail) comments have been received from numerous individuals and groups and are being considered in the planning process. Through historical management experience, formation of partnerships, and solicitation of public opinion, the SCDNR is developing management strategies for the property.
The Jocassee Gorges management plan is a general, conceptual statement of how the SCDNR will manage the Jocassee Gorges when it is acquired from DEC and CRI. Management of the Jocassee Gorges will require a system of "adaptive management" to maintain the property in a state compatible with both primary and secondary management objectives. The adaptive management approach will involve implementation, monitoring and research, review, and revision when necessary. Therefore, the management plan is an "elastic" plan that will continually evolve. Routine revisions and updates to the plan will be necessary to reflect changes in resource protection/management needs, and to address public access and other issues. The plan is conceptual because of the numerous management-related variables that exist. For example, development of management direction for many specific uses, such as forest management, will require intensive planning to meet management objectives. Yet in some areas, this plan specifically addresses short-term management policies. An example is the interim road access plan presented. Initially, this plan allows for the same (status quo)opportunities as in the past in areas of public access for traditional activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, camping, mountain biking, all terrain vehicles (ATV) access, and wildlife viewing. More specific management plans or guidelines will be developed as supplements to this document that will address issues such as detailed forest management, Best Management Practice Guidelines, and potential development of additional recreational services.
D. PLAN IMPLEMENTATION AND MANAGEMENT
The SCDNR's Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries will lead management planning and plan implementation under the supervision of the division's Deputy Director and with oversight from the SCDNR Director and Board. The management team will also be responsible for coordination with other divisions of the SCDNR, other state and federal resource agencies, university and academic professionals, and various organizations, interest groups, and the general public.
E. RESOURCE DESCRIPTION
The Jocassee Gorges, situated in the Blue Ridge province, comprise a series of intermontane valleys flanked by steep northeast-trending mountain ridges. South Carolina's portion of the Blue Ridge is 90 miles long and 25 to 30 miles wide, spanning Oconee County and extending eastward into Greenville County. Topographically, the Chattooga Ridge is a narrow transition about 6 miles wide that separates the Blue Ridge province's rugged southeast flank from the rolling hills of the Piedmont (from the French word meaning "foot of the mountain").
Geologically, the Jocassee Gorges erode two tectonic provinces in South Carolina: the Blue Ridge and the Inner Piedmont (including the Chauga belt, Walhalla nappe, and Six Mile nappe). The Brevard fault zone, a regional northeast-striking structure, separates the two tectonic provinces and can be traced 300 km along the eastern edge of the Appalachian Mountains from Alabama to Virginia. Many of the area's northeast-trending mountain ridges are also structurally oriented features, related to the Blue Ridge-Inner Piedmont thrusting that resulted from at least three (continent-to-continent) collisions. Rocks of the Jocassee Gorges are metamorphosed marine and volcanic rock, known as schist and gneiss (pronounced nice) and are part of the southern Appalachian metamorphic core. These rocks are folded, twisted, and squeezed together and provide stark evidence of the area's 1.1 billion years of geologic history.
The end result of the erosion is magnificent vistas like Jumping Off Rock and Sassafras Mountain and gorges harboring waterfalls and cascades such as Laurel Fork Falls, Whitewater Falls, and Eastatoee Gorge. The geology combined with mild temperatures and the highest average annual rainfall in the eastern United States supports a unique diversity of plant and animal life and an ecosystem for rare flora and fauna.
The soils of Jocassee Gorges are diverse. The most dominant soil association on the Jocassee Gorges property is the Ashe-Saluda-Stony land association. This association is dominant on all of the Pickens County portion of the property with the exception of the Lake Jocassee drainage and the "high peaks and ridges" areas (north of Camp Adger). This association is described as excessively to well-drained, strongly sloping to very steep soils that have a loamy sub-soil and are moderately deep or shallow to weathered rock on mountains. About 31 percent, 30 percent, and 18 percent of the association are made up of Ashe soils, Saluda soils, and Stony land, respectively. The rest is less extensive soils. This association has an average slope of about 60 percent. The soils formed mainly in granite weathered material with a high content of gneiss and quartz.
Most of that portion of Jocassee Gorges in the Lake Jocassee drainage (Pickens side) and the high peaks and ridge areas around Sassafras Mountain, Camp Adger and Emory Gap are characterized by the Edneyville-Porters-Hayesville association. Soils in this association are best described as being well-drained, strongly sloping to very steep soils and having a loamy subsoil and being moderately deep or deep to weathered rock on mountains. About 33 percent, 23 percent and 12 percent of the association are composed of Edneyville, Porters and Hayesville soils, respectively. The rest is made up of less extensive soils. These soils formed in material weathered from granite and gneiss in a cool climate characterized by abundant rainfall. Soils in this association are generally most suited for forests.
Along the flood plains of larger streams of the Toxaway, Eastatoee and Laurel Fork, the Toccoa-Chewacla association is found. These are well-drained to somewhat poorly drained, nearly level soils that are dominantly loamy throughout and are subject to flooding. Cherokee Indians and European settlers located close to these fertile river valley soils. This soil association is well suited to row crops, pasture and timber production. Some of the largest trees on Jocassee Gorges property can be found in these fertile areas that were once tended as fields.
The Oconee County portion of Jocassee Gorges including Crossroads Mountain and a large part of the Musterground maintains the Talladega-Madison (high phases) association. These are excessively drained soils on narrow ridges and on steep to very steep, broken slopes, and well- drained soils on broad ridgetops and more gentle slopes. These soils formed in material derived mainly from schist and phyllite. Growth of trees in this association is slower and windthrow is a potential hazard. Gently sloping terrain with Madison soils can be productive for grain crops, row crops, etc.
Other soils in the Musterground area include Hayesville-Cecil-Halewood association, Porters-Halewood association, Ashe-Hayesville-Cecil-Halewood association and Congaree-Mixed alluvial land association.
The main drainages in the Jocassee Gorges property are Eastatoee Creek to the east, Cane Creek in the center, and the Toxaway River (now Lake Jocassee) to the west. These systems flow generally to the south and southwest and drain into the Savannah River Basin. On the very eastern boundary is the Oolenoy River, which flows to the south and then to the east, into the Saluda River Basin. In this region, the annual precipitation averages about 67 inches (SCDNR-South Carolina State Climatology Office, 1998). As a result of this high precipitation, stream flow is relatively high, with an average flow of 3.3 cubic feet per second per square mile (Johnson et. al. 1968). The steep terrain produces stream gradients as high as 250 feet per mile in some areas (Bloxham, 1979). Surface fractures in the igneous and metamorphic rock provide channels for runoff, and consequently stream channels are often angular and drainage patterns are often rectangular (Acker and Hatcher, 1970). The fractures also provide avenues for ground water flow and storage; the crystalline rock aquifers that they feed contribute relatively large quantities of ground water to the streamflow (SC Water Resources Commission, 1983). In general, the steep terrain and semipermeable soils in the area cause rainfall to rapidly run off into stream channels, and, as a result, streams show rapidly fluctuating flows dependent on rainfall but have well-sustained base flows because of substantial ground water discharge (SC Water Resources Commission, 1983).
Approximately 88 miles of perennial streams exist on the Jocassee Gorges Property (Appendix-Table A-4). The coldwater streams on Jocassee Gorges are very infertile (oligotrophic) with low water hardness and alkalinity (<15 mg/l)(Archer, 1967). Maximum summer temperatures are generally less than 75 oF. Minimum winter stream temperatures can approach 35 oF. Stream substrate varies considerably and appears most related to past disturbances in the watersheds and stream gradient. Riparian areas generally maintain hardwood overstory canopies. Riparian understory vegetation is dominated by mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), and rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum).
The archaeological resources of the Jocassee Gorges are largely unknown, although approximately a dozen significant archaeological sites are recorded in the boundaries of the property. This area was the homeland of the Lower Cherokee Indians. Some of the most significant historical and archaeological sites (for example, Keowee Village and Fort Prince George) were inundated during the construction of the Keowee Toxaway Project. However, prior to inundation, the sites were carefully studied and extensive material was removed and catalogued. A major display related to this work is provided at Keowee-Toxaway State Park. An archaeological inventory of Jocassee Gorges is needed.
Access and Roads
Most access roads on the property were constructed to meet timbering needs. Some roads, however, have also served and been maintained to provide public access to the property. Approximately 138 miles of forest access roads exist on the property, not including abandoned forest access roads that have substantially revegetated over time. Approximately 70 miles of these roads have previously been used seasonally for public access. The majority of forest access roads have overhead tree canopies. Generally, primary public access roads have been maintained annually (by scraping, limited gravelling), while barricaded or gated roads lie in various conditions ranging from well vegetated to situations where mineral soils are exposed. Most of the roads on the Jocassee Gorges property are in need of maintenance. Road upgrade and maintenance represent the most immediate challenge identified on the property.
Access points to the Jocassee Gorges property are located off Highway 178 for the Horsepasture and Camp Adger areas. Access to Cane Creek is available off Cleo Chapman road (County road 143 off Highway 11). Developed access is available at three state parks that adjoin Jocassee Gorges. These parks include Devil's Fork State Park, Keowee Toxaway State Park, and Table Rock State Park.
Flora and Fauna
The Jocassee Gorges forests maintain a diverse assemblage of tree species and forest types, from oak-hickory forests to mixed pine-hardwood stands, and natural and planted stands of white pine (Pinus strobus). Some tree species found on Jocassee Gorges include white oak (Quercus alba), red oak (Quercus rubra and Quercus falcata), black oak (Quercus veluntina), scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea), chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), maple (Acer rubrum), poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), hemlock (Tsuga sp.), short leaf pine (Pinus echinata), Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana), pitch pine (Pinus rigida), Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens), and loblolly (Pinus taeda). The forest on Jocassee Gorges has been intensively logged. Many areas on the property have been logged multiple times. According to CRI timber stand records, since 1964, of the 32,000 acres in Jocassee Gorges, 6,558 acres (21 percent) have been clearcut and 16,359 acres (51 percent) have been selectively harvested. An addittional 1,100 acres (3 percent) of loggable land has remained uncut. Areas not logged by CRI because of their being not loggable or in a preservation (water and aesthetic protection) category represent approximately 25 percent of the property. An active program of reforestation has been conducted on the property and has been accomplished through both natural reforestation and planting.
The Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera (EPT; mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly, respectively) faunas of the southern Appalachian Mountains are rich in species, including many endemic species. The species richness is a result of unique geological, climatological and hydrological features of the region. At least 32 species of aquatic insects in the Jocassee Gorges are rarely documented elsewhere and appear to be restricted to cold, clear mountain streams with relatively little sediment or other types of pollution (Morse et al., 1989). One group of freshwater insects that has been used extensively in water pollution assessments is the caddisflies. There are 114 species of caddisflies that have been identified in the Lake Jocassee watershed. Of these five species are found only on Jocassee Gorges property (Floyd et al. 1997). Protection of these fauna and their use by humans for recreation and water quality assessment will require that streams not be impacted by further degradation from sediments and other pollutants and that natural plant food resources (trees and other riparian vegetation) be maintained.
Stream biota in the Jocassee Gorges warrant extensive study, especially freshwater mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, and true flies. Systematic investigations should be conducted in Jocassee Gorges streams to assess the community composition and distribution of these insects.
Data is not known to exist describing terrestrial insects in Jocassee Gorges. This is an area where survey work is needed.
Plants and Nongame Animals
The gorges produce a variety of habitats because of the extremely high levels of precipitation, the variety of acidic and calcareous substrates, and the steep topography. Particularly significant is the presence of plant species more typical of distant ecosystems (e.g. northern temperate forests and tropical forests) not found in the Carolinas today (Billings and Anderson, 1966).
These embayment gorges produce unique habitats for plants of both the cool, temperate forests, meadows, and seeps from the north and habitats more typical of the warm tropics to the south. Such species as sweet birch, gallberry or mountain mint are very common occurrences in the central and northern Appalachians but are considered rare in South Carolina because they are at or near their extreme southern terminus. Just as important has been the realization that the abundance and diversity of these plant species are indicative of very specialized and unique sets of micro-habitats (Billings and Anderson, 1966). These micro-habitats are particularly abundant in the Jocassee Gorges region. Over great stretches of geologic time, these micro-habitats have allowed for an exceptional variety of disjuncts, peripherals, and even endemics to be tucked away in their cooler, more moist ravines and coves so atypical of much of the present-day Southeast climate and landscape. Thus, at first glance, many of these species when considered as individual occurrences may not seem to be of great biological significance. But, if one evaluates their overall population status relative to the totality of all such species occurrences and their respective micro-habitats, the overwhelming professional consensus is that these gorges are indeed extraordinary.
To summarize, while not necessarily rare in their overall geographic distribution for North America or even South America, these species in their great abundance and diversity -- endemics, disjuncts and peripherals -- all together act as indicators of sites of high biodiversity and unique environmental conditions. Paleo-botanical and geological evidence suggests that the protected coves, ravines and ridges of the Southern Appalachian mountains, having escaped the direct effects of glaciation, have functioned for more than 200 million years as migration corridors for species from both more northerly and southerly environments (Delcourt, 1985). The presence of these species is indicative of habitats that are important refugia for numerous species of plants and animals across the entire phylogenetic spectrum from fungi to amphibians (Bruce, 1965; Cooper and Harden, 1970; and Delcourt, 1985).
A list of species of "special concern" found in the Jocassee Gorges is listed in Appendix-Table A-5. With additional survey, it is possible that this list will be expanded or reduced.
Stream fish communities within the Jocassee Gorges are typically very low in species diversity as is typical of high gradient Southern Appalachian streams. Physical barriers to upstream fish migrations (waterfalls) combined with harsh habitat conditions generally preclude a diversity of nongame fishes in the headwater reaches of mountain streams. In the absence of abundant nongame fish competition, however, often allopatric trout populations thrive. One remote tributary stream on the property maintains a self-sustaining population of Eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), a state species of concern. The genetic identity of this population has previously been described (Guffey 1995). Several other streams on the property maintain adequate brook trout habitat conditions but would require fish population renovations and/or stocking to reclaim the species. The most abundant fish species in headwater streams is the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Wild rainbow trout represent a unique and valuable resource to South Carolina. In 1984, the SCDNR Board adopted a departmental policy calling for "no net loss" of trout habitat in South Carolina. The trout found in Jocassee area streams have been the key lever necessary to achieve protective state classifications for streams and rivers. The Eastatoee and all tributaries, Whitewater River, Laurel Fork Creek, and Devil's Fork Creek (portions of tributaries) are classified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) as "Outstanding Resource Waters" (ORW) (SCDHEC, 1993). The remaining streams are designated "Trout Natural" (TN), except for lower Eastatoee which is designated "Trout Put-Grow-Take" (TPGT). Lake Jocassee is also TPGT. Another species of special concern found in Jocassee streams is the blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulus).
The properties contain populations of a number of wildlife species including black bears (Ursus americanus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), woodcock (Philohela minor), rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus and Sylvilagus transitionalis), raccoons (Procyon lotor), squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis and Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus), bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), bobcats (Lynx rufus), various waterfowl species, beavers (Castor canadensis), muskrats (Odatra zibethica), foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus and Vulpes vulpes), opossums (Didelphis marsupialis), skunks (Mephitus mephitus and Spilogale putorius), coyotes (Canis latrins), ground hogs (Marmota monax), feral hogs (Sus scrofa), river otters (Lutra canadensis), and mink (Mustela vison). White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, black bears and raccoons are the wildlife species that receive more interest from hunters. The Jocassee Gorges represent a major portion of quality black bear habitat in the state. Good populations of wild turkey and white-tailed deer are also found.
IV. PRIMARY MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES
The primary management objective for the Jocassee Gorges property, once acquired by the SCDNR, will be to maintain the natural character of the area. Significant plant, fish and wildlife communities and their habitats will be maintained, restored or enhanced.
Maintaining the natural character of Jocassee Gorges includes but is not limited to:
- securing this large tract of mountain land from residential or commercial development
- meeting the habitat needs of wildlife species
- ensuring the protection of the spectacular scenery associated with the mountainous landscape
- providing for sound watershed management for resources associated with coldwater trout streams including trout populations, their aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate fauna, and pristine water quality
- providing a refuge for nationally important biodiversity elements and assemblages including native plant communities
- providing for sound forest management to achieve a healthy, diverse forest within the context of adaptive management strategies when appropriate and consistent with primary management objectives.
- providing for protection and enhancement of habitat for threatened and endangered species and species of concern.
V. SECONDARY MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES
The secondary management objective will be to provide outdoor recreation that is compatible with the area's natural character. This includes providing for traditional opportunities for fishing, hunting, hiking, wildlife and scenery viewing, and other compatible forms of outdoor recreation. Educational opportunities for the public, school groups, and other organizations to learn about this unique tract of land will be emphasized.
VI. NATURAL RESOURCE MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT
The Jocassee Gorges property maintains a tremendous diversity of plant and animal communities. The property is important in that it is a transition between piedmont and mountain habitats and contains gorge habitats unique in the southern Appalachians. Several endemic species are found within its boundaries. Additionally, important populations of sport fish and wildlife occur on the property. These wildlife and fish populations provide economically important recreational opportunities for South Carolina sportsmen.
Reflecting a long history of human occupation, the archaeological resources are also likely significant. Surveys to establish baseline conditions for 1) plant, fish, and wildlife communities and populations; 2) rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal communities and populations; and 3) significant archaeological resources will be a high priority.
A. ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES AND SURVEYS
The archaeological resources of the Jocassee Gorges are largely unknown, although a dozen or so archaeological sites are recorded in the boundaries of Jocassee Gorges property. SCDNR will continue to assist the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) by digitizing archaeological site locations for the Jocassee Gorges. SCDNR will seek a cooperative agreement with SCIAA to share information for management planning purposes. SCDNR will also coordinate with the State Historic Preservation Office, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, to assure significant archaeological resources are protected. Confidentiality of archaeological sites will be important in their protection. Significant known archaeological resources will be protected when feasible. An archaeological survey of the entire Jocassee Gorges property would be appropriate. Possible funding sources may include federal funding through the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.
B. BIOLOGICAL SURVEYS AND MONITORING
Plants and Nongame animals
Although most of the gorges have received considerable botanical attention, there are many smaller coves with outstanding potential for biodiversity that have not been fully surveyed by taxonomists. In one area, immediately adjacent to the Musterground tract, Gaddy (1990) states that "study of the small ravine has revealed it to be among the richest fern sites I have seen along the southern Blue Ridge Escarpment." This site, Glade Fern Ravine (Mill Creek Area), was deemed so important that Duke Power identified it as a significant natural area and as of 1990 proposed to limit construction and timber harvest activities. In addition, large areas along many of the major ridges and slopes have been commercially harvested. These drier, better-drained areas provide habitat for many important fern and flowering plant groups, such as members of the composite and grass families ( Hitchcock, 1950), particularly if underlain with mafic or calcareous substrates. The recent discovery of the federally endangered species mountain sweet pitcher-plant (Sarracenia jonesii) in the Jocassee area in 1996 underscores the importance of these drier sites. There are many sparingly surveyed and even unsurveyed sites between the Toxaway and Eastatoee drainages, as well as sites along road corridors that have not been extensively or intensively inventoried for rare and endangered species or for significant plant communities.
An initial objective will be to coordinate surveys of nongame wildlife and plant species, especially in areas where such surveys are lacking. The first stage of survey involves mapping areas that are known to have been surveyed by a qualified botanist, aquatic entomologist, herpetologist, etc. Mapping will involve a cooperative effort between SCDNR, other state and federal agencies and local universities. The maps will include known past work on terrestrial vertebrates, vascular plants (and their communities), nonvascular plants, invertebrates and fungi. The maps will allow managers to see gaps in surveys and pinpoint locations to be surveyed. This information should also reveal needs for repeated botanical surveys during different seasons, since some sites may have been surveyed in only one season, causing species to be missed.
Development of funding and cooperative agreements or other mechanisms to secure the necessary technical expertise will ultimately control the rate at which nonsurveyed areas can be sampled. In all cases, however, the starting point will be to compile data from past research, survey and monitoring efforts. Significant occurrences will be entered into the existing Heritage Trust database for future reference. SCDNR, DPC, and cooperating universities will cooperate in evaluating and/or compiling the data.
Additionally, the SCDNR will investigate the potential for securing aerial reconnaissance imagery of the Jocassee Gorges to produce vegetation maps that may predict locations of unique plant communities and rare plant species habitats.
These strategies will help facilitate the development of threatened and endangered element buffers and protection of significant archaeological sites. Appropriate land use plans will incorporate this information.
Future development (i.e. trails, wildlife food plots, parking areas, etc.) and forest management practices will be coordinated and evaluated to assure that known, unique communities or populations of species of concern are not adversely impacted. GIS mapping will allow managers to avoid or tailor management practices to protect sensitive resources. With maps of proposed activities, managers can systematically conduct site surveys and avoid management conflicts.
Monitoring Elements, Communities, Threatened and Endangered (T&E) Species
Monitoring of Heritage Trust elements, communities, and threatened and endangered species will employ a variety of tools, cooperators and strategies. The first step in development of monitoring plans will involve the creation of a network of regional experts, university cooperators and volunteers. Researchers or programs with expertise in specific fields will be contacted to establish monitoring plots for specific communities or species. An example would be to use experts at Clemson University to establish a monitoring program for rare or uncommon butterflies within the project area. The first phase of this would likely require some survey work.
Indicator species, those organisms sensitive to changes in their environment, will be designated. An example of a good potential indicator for terrestrial species is the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), which is found throughout the project area and is somewhat sensitive to changes in pH and water quality. Aquatic indicators will include caddisflies and certain fish species. Cooperative associations will be formed and an experimental design for monitoring will be established. This design will include species and communities to be monitored, monitoring sites, etc.
Midwinter surveys for bald eagles will continue every January on Lake Jocassee as specified in guidelines for standardized survey routes. Jumping Off Rock will be surveyed every spring for peregrine falcon activity.
Fish Population Monitoring
Fish population sampling and monitoring will follow the American Fisheries Society - Southern Division Trout Committee's "Guidelines for Sampling Wadeable Trout Streams" (Moore and Habera 1993). Under this sampling and monitoring approach, all fish species are quantified for a given sample area producing estimates of species composition, population densities, biomass, size distributions and other pertinent data. Under this monitoring program, standard representative monitoring sites are established. Data are collected for at least two years to established baseline conditions, and then periodic samples are taken on longer rotations to assess changes.
Historical sampling stations, where baseline data are available, will continue to be monitored periodically (for example, Eastatoee River drainage). In streams where data are unavailable or dated, attempts will be made to update available data and establish a current baseline condition (for example, Cane Creek).
Lake Jocassee is a 7,500-acre reservoir surrounded by Jocassee Gorges property. Its fishery is estimated to contribute approximately $750,000 annually to the local economy in direct angling expenditures alone (gas, food, bait, lodging). Fishery biologists will continue to monitor both the fish population in Lake Jocassee and the recreational fishery. Many fishery monitoring and management programs are already in place in cooperation with DPC scientists. Monitoring and management strategies include angler creel surveys, electrofishing surveys, hydroacoustic surveys (counts of bait fish), fish habitat surveys, water quality surveys, fish habitat maintenance agreements, netting surveys, trout stocking, etc.
Stream habitat will be monitored in conjunction with fish sampling. Habitat features such as substrate and pool to riffle ratios will periodically be evaluated. Areas of habitat deficiencies will also be identified.
A sampling program to monitor suspended sediment, perhaps using single-stage water bottle samplers, similar to Van Lear (1995), should be considered during the early phases of this project. This would help document the status of water quality and fish habitat. A repetitive sampling system of this nature will document a baseline of stream condition, and will provide an index for evaluating whether stream conditions are maintained or improved.
Thermal regimes of streams will be monitored using recording thermometers. Basic water chemistry will also be monitored on a periodic basis in conjunction with fish population sampling.
Wildlife (Game) Population Monitoring
Various wildlife population monitoring strategies are employed by SCDNR wildlife biologists. Black bear population levels on the property are monitored by bait station surveys. Bear activity or "hits" on bait stations provide a relative index of bear population abundance in the area or region. A listing of black bear bait station data is presented as (Appendix-Table 2). SCDNR biologists have also worked cooperatively with Clemson University, DPC, and CRI on research that established bear movement, habitat selection, and abundance on the property. Two theses, "Population Dynamics and Denning Ecology of Black Bears in the Mountains of South Carolina" by Richard D. Willey (August 1995) and "Home Range, Movements and Habitat utilization of Female Black bears in the Mountains of South Carolina" by Joseph Walter Butfiloski (May 1996), were written concerning black bears in the Jocassee Gorges. Sixty-three bears were trapped, data collected, and the animals released unharmed on the property. These studies determined abundance and habitat use of bears in the area and made suggestions on habitat improvements. Results of these studies will be used in developing detailed management activities that favor black bears. Black bears will be an "umbrella" game species on the area. Early and late successional habitat is important to black bears. Management for black bear habitat needs will benefit a broad range of wildlife species.
Another wildlife population monitoring tool involves a "scent tab" station survey of furbearing wildlife species (Roughton and Sweeney, 1982; Johnson and Pelton, 1981). The scent station provides biologists information to determine changes in abundance and distribution of furbearers. This monitoring program will be applied on the Jocassee Gorges property.
Eastern wild turkeys in the mountain region are monitored by late spring-summer brood surveys. SCDNR and other qualified observers participate in the survey. Counts of turkey poults and adults provide an index of annual turkey reproduction and population levels. Jocassee Gorges turkey surveys are included with the Mountain Hunt Unit to provide regional results. This is an ongoing monitoring project. Other wildlife species such as ruffed grouse, bobwhite quail, mourning doves, waterfowl and others may be monitored as deemed necessary.
Hard and soft mast surveys are conducted on the Jocassee property to assess wildlife food resources. Hard mast surveys provide an index of the relative abundance and diversity of the acorn crop each fall. The soft mast survey provides an index of the abundance of soft mast fruits such as blackberry, blueberry, muscadine and others. These data provide biologists information that can be correlated with health and dispersal of wildlife populations.
A summary of recent soft mast and bear scent station surveys for Jocassee Gorges area is included (Appendix A-6).
Monitoring Harvest and Health of Big Game Wildlife Species
Harvest of big game animals, such as black bears, white-tailed deer and wild turkeys, has historically been monitored in conjunction with the WMA Mountain Hunt Unit. This monitoring allows biologists to collect and/or analyze data such as numbers, sex, age and weight and to collect samples such as blood, tissue, parasites, etc. As a result of this monitoring biologists are able to assess population health and formulate hunting seasons and bag limits. Harvest of big game species on the property will continue to be monitored as deemed necessary by SCDNR. Special emphasis will be placed on documenting black bear population levels and harvests on the Jocassee property. Area wild turkey harvest will continue to be monitored either by check stations and/or surveys. Several check stations are located near the property to serve Jocassee Gorges big game hunters. White-tailed deer harvest in the region is now being monitored by a mail survey of license holders. Additional monitoring for other game species may be developed.
Research and Survey Permitting
A research permitting system will be devised by SCDNR to allow managers to accommodate work, prevent research conflicts, protect resources of special concern, and avoid unnecessary interference with research while conducting daily management. Permitting will require information on the project, a timeline, contact persons, any necessary state or federal permits (such permits are required for work with birds) and maps of the study area. A mandatory reporting process will be established to assure all scientific studies are available to assist SCDNR in the management decision process and are compatible with the overall management goals. A state-wide permitting process is already in place for freshwater fish collections.
C. NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Of the 87 "species of concern" known to occur within the project area, only three resident species are formally listed as endangered or threatened: the southern coal skink (Eumeces anthracinus pluvialis), Rafinesque's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii), and Eastern small-footed myotis (Myotis leibii). Non-resident species that utilize the project area for foraging include the federally threatened bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and the endangered peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Undoubtedly, many other species found here could become candidates for listing in the future, depending on the course of the Endangered Species Act and its administration.
Management of the Jocassee Gorges property will follow a proactive agenda to assure that threatened or endangered species and candidate species are maintained or their status improved. In many cases, this may simply include protection through establishment of buffers. An example will be establishing timber harvest buffers around threatened and endangered bat (Chiroptern) roosts and ensuring that roosts are not isolated from foraging areas. Other cases may involve active management, such as the application of prescribed fire, to improve habitat for a species. Scientifically based management approaches for significant species will be applied to protect or improve their populations on Jocassee Gorges. It is prudent and more cost effective to take steps to secure these species now rather than waiting until they are federally listed.
The protection, enhancement, and overall management of coldwater trout populations in Jocassee Gorges streams will be a high priority. The state-wide trout management plan, "The Future of Trout in South Carolina" (Geddings 1990), will serve as primary guidance for trout management on Jocassee Gorges property. Management and protection of Eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontanalis) will be a priority. Potential brook trout restoration sites have generally been identified. Potential restoration efforts could be described as transplanting brook trout into available stream habitat devoid of fish, or removal of exotic and/or native fish followed by transplant stocking (Moore 1993). Renovation projects, if proposed, would first consider the most environmentally sensitive techniques to accomplish the goals (ex. electrofishing, natural waterfall barriers).
The majority of streams that maintain naturally reproducing trout populations on Jocassee Gorges hold rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Overall management in the streams on the property will primarily be directed toward the maintenance of high quality trout fisheries, because of their prescence as the major sportfish, their recreational and economic importance, and their importance as environmental indicators. Native fish species of concern will be identified and protected.
Fish management efforts on Jocassee Gorges streams date back at least to the 1930s when the Chief Game Warden managed trout stocking from state and federal hatcheries. A trout stocking program during this period was necessary to re-establish fisheries and provide fishing opportunities following stream habitat degredation.
In more recent years, the management of the trout stocking program has changed focus somewhat. With generally improved habitat conditions in most streams, many headwater fisheries have been revitalized by stocking efforts. Most headwater streams on the property currently maintain reproducing trout populations. The primary management emphasis now is to assure self-sustaining fisheries are maintained, and provide seasonal fisheries for stocked trout in the lower reaches of marginal trout streams where water temperatures or other habitat conditions prevent natural reproduction. These lower cool-to-cold water habitats are generally devoid of significant natural fisheries and are dominated by nongame fishes. Sections of these habitats are currently managed for "put-grow-and-take" and/or "put-and-take" trout fisheries.
The hatchery-supported trout management program has been shown to generate over 12 million dollars to the economy of South Carolina and to provide recreation to the state's 40,000-plus trout anglers (Duda, 1997). This program will continue on Jocassee Gorges property. Stocking rates, species, sizes and strains stocked will be determined by fisheries biologists with input from anglers.
Due to the severe damage to coldwater stream resources caused by beavers (Barnes, 1994; Taylor, 1994), it will be necessary to manage beaver populations through various means to maintain viable coldwater trout habitat. Control methods will primarily involve land (forest) management practices to discourage beaver colonization of trout streams. This generally involves managing stream-side management zones, particularly in low gradient areas, in mature or old-growth timber (Burriss 1997). Beaver trapping may also be needed in some cases.
Management planning should allow for development of additional site(s) on the property for coldwater (trout) fish culture should future needs dictate.
The lower section of the Eastatoee River below Robinson Bottoms will be managed as an intensive trout management area. Angler and fish stocking access points will be provided in three locations, and angler trails developed, as needed, to provide effective access to Eastatoee River. SCDNR and DPC will work cooperatively to develop these access points, and to develop partnerships to help maintain these facilities.
Suitable sites for fishing access for the disabled are very limited because of the rugged terrain surrounding trout streams on the property. Nevertheless, options should be considered for development of accessible fishing areas on trout streams where safe and feasible. An initial, cooperative fishing area accessible to disabled anglers is planned for development (with DPC) at Dug Mountain Bridge on Eastatoee River.
Supplemental Feeding Projects
Feeding programs in the Southern Appalachians are conducted to improve growth and
average size of trout in streams. Since streams in the area are rather infertile,
supplemental feeding may be necessary in some areas to maintain fishable trout populations
depending on the findings of current studies on the Middle Saluda River (Geddings and
Rankin, 1996) and studies being conducted on N.C. trout streams (Borrawa 1995).
Instream Structure and Bank Stabilization
Instream structure habitat improvement projects may be needed in many streams because of habitat degredation. Habitat improvement projects involve placing logs in streams to alter the hydraulics of the stream (Seehorn, 1992). The most common goal is to improve the pool habitat for fish. In some cases, bank stabilization and riparian area re-establishment projects may be initiated. These habitat improvement projects may be used as educational demonstration projects. Examples of these types of projects are already in place on a few Jocassee Gorges streams and are the result of cooperation between SCDNR, Trout Unlimited, DPC and other partners.
Wildlife Habitat and Management
SCDNR wildlife biologists will routinely monitor wildlife habitat on the Jocassee Gorges property. Biologists will recommend management practices to improve and maintain favorable wildlife habitat conditions. These practices will include establishing wildlife food plots and linear wildlife strips, planting and/or favoring hard and soft mast-producing species, and using prescribed burning and forest management practices to improve wildlife habitat. Other wildlife management practices may be incorporated as techniques are developed and as deemed necessary by SCDNR biologists.
D. TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE SCDNR will collect and utilize detailed hydrology, geology, soils and climatology data and analyses as needed for planning and management functions. The department will develop a geographic information system (GIS) that will be used in making planning and management decisions for the property. Assimilation of data from natural resource surveys, monitoring, and research into GIS format will allow managers to consider all natural resources when making land management decisions. The GIS will initially utilize existing natural resources data as it is collected. The agency also has available or access to extensive maps, aerial photographs and remote sensing imagery that can be used as needed in making management decisions for the property.
The Department has the necessary expertise and facilities to develop specific management plan segments for river corridors and watersheds on the property. In order to address the natural resource impacts of human activities on the property, SCDNR will develop and employ appropriate stewardship practices to avoid or minimize resource damage and promote beneficial uses. As part of this effort, the agency will develop an overall storm-water management plan for the entire project and site specific storm-water management and sediment control plans for trails, roads, building construction, campsite development and other specific land disturbing activities.
Working through the Pickens Soil and Water Conservation District, erosion control equipment will be available such as a straw blower for mulching disturbed areas; a no-till drill for direct seeding access roads, wildlife food plots, linear wildlife strips, and dove fields; and a tree planter for reforestation. The district may provide other needed equipment to conduct management operations.
Utilizing remote sensing and other inventory methods, the department can identify unique natural resource features that would be of interest to visitors to the property.
VII. FOREST MANAGEMENT
A. GENERAL APPROACH
A detailed forest management plan(s) will be developed through consultation with the SCFC. The Clemson University Department of Forest Resources and other forest research organizations may also be consulted in plan development. This forest management plan will be developed to improve or protect wildlife and plant habitat, maintain a diverse forest, assure a healthy, sustainable forest, and reach ecological objectives. Wildlife habitat conditions, forest types, successional stages, and management activities of adjacent lands will be considered as they pertain to forest management of the Jocassee Gorges Ecosystem. Forest management activities, including timber harvest, will be carried out on appropriate sites that are not selected for some higher priority use (watershed protection, rare and endangered element buffers, scenic buffers, etc).
Although revenues incidental to timber harvest will be earmarked for management of the property, timber harvest will not be relied upon as a major funding source. Timber harvest will be conducted to enhance habitat and biodiversity, and to sustain forest health.
Forest regeneration methods will emphasize natural regeneration of species most suitable to a specific site. These methods include: single tree selection, group selection, seed tree, shelterwood and small silvicultural clear-cuts. Planting of species will be done on sites that cannot be successfully regenerated to target species by natural methods. It is prudent to maintain a diverse array of accepted harvesting and regeneration approaches. For example, to maintain the rare, native Table Mountain pine (Pinus pungens) in the Jocassee Gorges ecosystem would require prescribed burning to achieve regeneration. Re-establishment of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) would likely involve even-age management with planting of seedlings for regeneration. Even-age management will also be desirable in situations where providing early successional wildlife habitat is a goal or in critical watersheds where it is desirable to limit land area and access road disturbance. Shelterwood methods with prescribed fire may be needed to maintain oak on good quality sites (Brose et al. 1998). Group selection or uneven-age management may be applied to regenerate shade tolerant species or maintain mast production, while maintaining aesthetics in areas where visual concerns are important (for example, the Jocassee viewshed).
Stand condition may dictate short-term forest management practices. For example, approximately 21 percent of the property was clear-cut and regenerated since 1964. Many of these stands are white pine plantations that will need to be managed, for example by thinning to release pines and encourage improved stands. Minimal land disturbance would be associated with managing existing pine plantations. Forest road access systems are already in place to manage these timber stands.
Timber stands on Jocassee Gorges were routinely cut under a select-cut system prior to CRI taking ownership. Additionally, approximately 51 percent of the property has been select-cut since 1964 while under CRIs management. In 1995, bear researchers pointed out the lack of oak regeneration and preponderance of yellow poplar on much of the property. Forest management practices that encourage oak regeneration may be needed to rehabilitate forests toward desired conditions.
Prescribed fire will be used as a forest management tool. Objectives for the use of prescribed fire may include threatened and endangered species management, habitat management, fuel reduction, wildlife management and forest management (regeneration, site preparation, control certain species, etc.). SCDNR will coordinate and review all burn plans with the SCFC. Future forest management and land use planning for the property may identify management units (or compartments) and conceptual management priorities for each. Crescent Resources timber stand history and records will be retained and mapped in a GIS format by SCDNR for future planning purposes. Detailed forest management plans will be management-unit specific and site specific. An example of a potential management unit would be the Lake Jocassee watershed. Forest regeneration practices in this management unit would likely be geared toward uneven-age management practices to maintain scenic qualities of the viewshed. Certain management units or areas may be set aside for preservation or mature forest development. A likely area for such designation will be the Eastatoee Gorge area. Other management units (for example, Cane Creek drainage) may be more intensively managed to provide a diversity of forest successional stages to benefit wildlife species.
B. FOREST MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES
BMPs for the Property
Certain guidelines for forest management practices will be developed for the property. For example, protection of streams, wetlands and lakes will involve the incorporation of Best Management Practices. "South Carolina's Best Management Practices" for forestry operations (1994) will serve as a minimum requirement to protect soil and water quality. In most cases, because of steep slopes, highly erosive soils and known existence of unique resources, the State BMP's will be exceeded. BMP application on the property will be site specific, performance based and rigorous. Monitoring of the effectiveness of BMP's in meeting stated objectives for erosion control and water quality protection will afford managers the information necessary for adaptive management.
Timber harvest buffers will be developed to protect scenic areas, threatened and endangered species and streamside management zones (includes filtration, shade buffers, coarse woody debris, beaver control). For example, scenic buffers for forest management will be developed along Highway 178 and the Foothills Trail. Management units for watershed protection around streams and lakes will be designated.
C. FOREST HEALTH
Maintaining forest health will be an important component of forest management. Both natural and introduced disease and pest systems play a role in plant and animal composition. Tree vigor often affects the vulnerability of trees to bark beetle attack (Anderson, 1960). Once pine beetles establish themselves in great number, they then can attack more vigorous trees adjacent to infected trees. The Southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis), black turpentine beetle (Dendroctonus tenebrans) and the engraver beetle (Ips spp.) are native to this area. They periodically reach high levels and can kill thousands of acres of pines. The beetles are poor dispersers, and often beetle kills can be avoided by cutting living green pine trees that are not yet infested along the moving head of an outbreak. Frequent flights to evaluate forest health will facilitate prompt control measures.
Gypsy moths (Porthetria dispar) are a European species deliberately introduced in the U.S. in 1869 (Anderson, 1960). Periodic outbreaks of gypsy moths deforest thousands of acres of hardwoods. One year of defoliation does not kill most trees but repeated defoliation results in significant losses. Gypsy moths have been documented in the headwaters of the nearby Chattooga River in North Carolina. It is desirable to monitor for gypsy moth activity on Jocassee Gorges and implement control techniques when outbreaks threaten forest health.
Leopard moths (Zeuzera pyrina) occur in the Horsepasture area (Bunch, personal observation). They are exotics, originating in Europe, that attack shade trees, most frequently maples and elms (Anderson, 1960). They are not known to be as seriously damaging as gypsy moths.
Other diseases are not native but were accidentally introduced from importation of foreign plant material. These diseases include American chestnut blight (which came to the U.S. on Chinese chestnuts), Dutch elm disease, and dogwood anthracnose. As seedlings of chestnut hybrids that are resistant to the blight become available, they will be considered for introduction into the Jocassee Gorges area.
Emphasis has been placed on pests and diseases that impact trees and therefore affects forest communities. It should be noted that invasive pests and diseases, particularly exotic ones can also impact herbaceous plants/communities and native fauna. However, there is much less published material available on those threats and their omission is because of lack of information.
Disease or outbreaks of pests such as Southern pine beetles may require special forest
management practices to control or contain the damage. Diseased or storm-damaged timber
will also be salvaged in certain cases. Forest management prescriptions will be developed
to prevent disease and forest pest outbreaks through maintenance of forest health.
D. WILDFIRE CONTROL
The SCFC will provide manpower and equipment to suppress wildfires and investigate fire law violations. Fire management guidelines will be developed for the property involving coordination among SCFC, SCDNR and SCPRT.
VIII. ROAD ACCESS AND MAINTENANCE PLAN
A. VEHICLE ACCESS
Access on the property via a paved road system is extremely limited. Highway 178 and Cleo Chapman Road (county road 143) are the only paved roads that access the property. Paved roads at three adjoining state parks provide access to the boundaries of Jocassee Gorges. Approximately 138 miles of "dirt" roads exist on the property. Roads on the property fall into two major categories: 1) roads open seasonally for public access, forest management, fire control, etc. and 2) roads closed to public vehicle access but used for official access, forest access, fire control, and public access for mountain biking and hiking, etc. The property contains approximately 70 miles of seasonally gated roads and 68 miles of permanently gated forest access roads. Seasonal public access roads take the form of "jeep trails," and four-wheel drive vehicles are needed for safe travel. The property is flanked by several state parks that offer improved access to the Jocassee Gorges area. Table Rock State Park adjoins the property on the eastern boundary. Devil's Fork State Park and Keowee-Toxaway State Park lie on the western boundary of Jocassee Gorges. These parks provide improved access to the Jocassee Gorges area. Table Rock State Park is a major access point to the foothills trail, while Devil's Fork State Park provides boating access to the "heart" of the Jocassee Gorges Project.
Public vehicular access to the Jocassee Gorges property will follow a schedule similar to that used in the past (Appendix A-7, and Appendix B-2). Roads initially open to public access include Camp Adger, Horsepasture (from Hwy 178 only), and Cane Creek Road (to the vicinity of Cane Creek), and portions of Standing Rock Road. All roads will continue to be open seasonally beginning September 15 through January 2 and during the month of April as they have in the past, provided adequate funding is available for maintenance. Access to the Musterground property of Jocassee Gorges will continue to be available through the Bad Creek Facility. This gate will also be open September 15 through January 2 and during the month of April. The lower Tater Hill road (off Hwy 130) should also continue to be opened seasonally. Closed roads on the property will be marked with signs.
This schedule will allow for visitor access during the peak foliage seasons. This access schedule also accommodates traditional recreational user groups such as hunters, anglers and hikers. Special consideration is also being given to providing year-round access on the main Horespasture Road from Laurel Valley Lodge to Laurel Fork Gap. This will allow better access to the property by visitors.
Additional access may be considered as funding for road maintenance and repair is secured. However, ecological concerns warrant allowing seasonal vehicular access only at this time. The area is highly erodible and road repair is expensive. Annual rainfall on the property is the highest in the east. Year-round access would require much more maintenance activity such as blading and adding gravel. Sedimentation studies imply that frequent road maintenance in the mountains increases sediment sources to the watersheds. Additionally, black bear research studies in the area indicated that vehicle traffic on open roads inside the Horsepasture had a significant negative impact on movements of bears. Black bears avoid open forest access roads. Bears seldom utilize available habitat within 500 meters of logging roads when public access is allowed. Bear avoidance of open roads has been documented throughout the southern Appalachians.
Access through the historic, lower entrance to the Horsepasture Road at Cane Creek was not included in the state's purchase of the property. An alternative access for Jocassee Gorges is planned by renovating the historic Old Horsepasture Road. This road will enter the main Horsepasture Road in the vicinity of the Gant Fields. This will take time and significant funding to accomplish. This access will not be available until renovation is complete and the road meets acceptable standards. Until then, the only vehicle access into the major section of the Horsepasture is through Laurel Valley. From the Laurel Valley entrance to Cane Creek is approximately 16 miles.
The entire Laurel Fork and Jackie's Ridge roads, or portions thereof, may be closed because of the condition of the road and bridges and environmental concerns. Several options are currently being reviewed to address the situation with the Laurel Fork Road, including road relocation, road repair, and closure of the road without repair or relocation.
An angler access at the southern limit of Eastatoee Creek Heritage Preserve (ECHP) is needed. The lower portion of Eastatoee Creek below the gorge area at ECHP maintains an excellent wild rainbow trout population, but reasonable access is not available to anglers. If acquisition efforts afford the potential for better angler access to this stream reach, the SCDNR should pursue development of a small, 10-car parking and access area from Eastatoee Valley or possibly trail access from Highway 178. This would also give "through access" for hikers on the ECHP trail. Until better access can be developed, the primitive camp area on ECHP, and an angler trail should be maintained, if compatible with ECHP management. Development of hiking trails that benefit day users and anglers may also be conducted along streams such as Cane Creek.
B. ROAD MAINTENANCE
A prioritization of road maintenance and improvements will be developed. Acceptable standards for road conditions will be established and met. Soil scientists and engineers with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and SCFC will be consulted in this process. Road management schemes should pay attention to the recommendations of Van Lear (1995) in the maintenance of access roads. Installation of sediment traps, broad based dips, water bars, berms, weeps, etc. will be needed to minimize erosion from many main access roads. Road surfacing used should be carefully considered to minimize siltation (e.g. avoid crusher run around spring and stream areas). Maintenance of watershed integrity and high water quality is a management priority. Also, managers must maintain the ability to close roads during extremely wet weather conditions or when roads are in dire need of maintenance. Because of high amounts of rainfall in the Horsepasture, it may be necessary to "daylight" (i.e. cut or trim trees along the road) some roads. Daylighting roads will be a practice considered for application on a site-specific basis where appropriate. Initially, road maintenance will be conducted through a contracting process or cooperative agreement or by SCDNR staff. As management funding for equipment and personnel becomes available, it will be beneficial to hire personnel to conduct routine road maintenance. It is recommended that roads used to access Duke Electric Transmission (DET, a Duke Energy Company) rights-of-way be maintained by a cooperative effort of SCDNR and DEC.
Closed roads should be maintained in a stabilized state consistent with standards for light duty or forest access roads (Swift 1984).
SCDNR will cooperate fully with the SCFC in the suppression of forest fires on Jocassee Gorges. This will include providing access on all roads on the property for fire suppression purposes.
Road Inventory and Repair Process
There are numerous dirt roads on the property ranging from major access roads to closed-out roads from previous forestry work. An inventory of these roads will be completed, and special emphasis will be given to noting any roads that have become destabilized and that are contributing notable quantities of siltation to trout streams. The roads needing stabilization work will be prioritized, and work indicated to provide and maintain stabilization through implementation of Best Management Practices. A team involving SCDNR, NRCS, DPC and other appropriate entities will coordinate this effort. DPC will implement recommended actions (Keowee Toxaway Fishery Resources-Ten Year Work Plan, 1996).
IX. OUTDOOR RECREATION
Recreation is secondary to the primary management objective of maintaining the natural character of the Jocassee Gorges property. Decisions concerning authorizing recreational activities must be made in regard to their impact on the primary objective. Many recreational activities are compatible. Each activity will be managed to minimize impact on the resources, meet recreational demand and reduce visitor conflicts.
Visitor carrying capacity of the site and the social carrying capacity are major elements in planning for the recreation component of the overall management plan. Data on human carrying capacity are not currently available for use in planning the recreation component. Because of the lack of this information, great care and a conservative approach must be taken in making the area available for recreation. Throughout the years, the property has been used for a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The acquisition by the state will increase public knowledge and interest in the property.
Request for access from a wide variety of interest groups will increase. Each case will be evaluated based upon the impact on the natural characteristics of the site and its relationship with other user groups.
The Jocassee Gorges property does not meet the strict definition of a wilderness (an area essentially undisturbed by human activity), but visitors' perception of the area influences their expectations. The expectation of visitors varies depending on their specific interest, but in general, they want a primitive or backcountry experience. This was reflected in the public meeting held in Pickens. Maintaining this experience will be a major factor in planning for the recreational objective.
The backcountry experience cannot be sustained with intensive development or a large volume of visitors on the site at any given time. This premise will be considered as access sites are developed and time provided for certain activities.
Recreation is a "quality of life" issue and is important to local residents and state residents who will be visiting the property. Recreation on the property will not be measured solely by the amount or variety of recreation provided. It will primarily be measured by the quality of the experience made possible by interacting with the natural resource.
The Jocassee Gorges property, including the DPC property under conservation easement, will remain in the WMA Program and will continue to be available for public hunting. The opportunity to hunt in remote rugged terrain is rare in South Carolina. Traditionally, this area has been a favorite destination for hunters who consider the rugged, picturesque terrain an advantage rather than a hindrance. Existing partnerships with hunter groups will be continued and possibly expanded. Jocassee Gorges properties will continue to be marked with WMA signs, and a WMA permit will be required on the property. Hunters should consult the DNR's rules and regulations publication for regulations, seasons and bag limits. Safety zones will be established around designated campgrounds.
WMA regulation 6.1 (SCDNR, 1997-98) affords paraplegics and single or double amputees of the legs the opportunity to hunt from a stationary motor vehicle on WMA lands. Additional provisions for improved access for physically challenged hunters will be considered on Jocassee Gorges property.
Fishing opportunities will continue to be provided on Jocassee Gorge streams and Lake Jocassee. Reasonable access will be afforded to anglers as terrain, funding, and environmental considerations will allow. SCDNR will continue to work cooperatively with DPC to assure reasonable boating access is provided to Lake Jocassee anglers. Anglers should consult the DNR's rules and regulations publication for regulations and creel and size limits. A publication entitled "Brook, Rainbow and Brown Trout in South Carolina" is available from the SCDNR, Clemson Office. This publication details trout fishing opportunities on Jocassee Gorges property.
The Foothills Trail
Hiking trails are a major form of access into the Jocassee Gorges with the Foothills Trail being the primary trail system. Constructed in the late 1970s, The Foothills Trail is a major recreational feature and access corridor to Jocassee Gorges. The 80-mile-long main stem of the Foothills Trail extends from Table Rock State Park in Pickens County to Oconee State Park in Oconee County. While the trail provides some outstanding day hikes, its major reputation is for its backpacking experience. Access to the trail is provided at a number of parking facilities along its route, and boat access is available at designated points along the shores of Lake Jocassee. Travel on the trail is restricted to foot traffic only.
For safety reasons, hikers in the Jocassee Gorges are encouraged to wear brightly colored clothing (florescent orange hat or vest) while hiking during designated hunting seasons (Oct. through December and April).
Approximately 24.5 miles of the Foothills Trail main stem is within the newly protected South Carolina portions of the Jocassee Gorges. Trail access sites and parking areas are presented in Appendix B-2.
Description of Spur Trails
A number of spur trails and trails interconnecting with other trail systems are associated with the Foothills Trail. Within the newly protected Jocassee Gorges lands in South Carolina are four notable spur trails in the present system of the Foothills Trail. These include a 2.6 mile trail accessing Eastatoee Creek Heritage Preserve, a 1.7-mile trail accessing Lower Whitewater Falls, a 1-mile trail accessing Coon Branch Natural Area on Whitewater River, and a 0.5-mile spur trail at Bad Creek Hydroelectric Site.
Numerous hiking opportunities also exist on forest access roads on Jocassee Gorges
property. All access roads (open and closed) on Jocassee Gorges are available for hiking.
Maintenance of the Foothills Trail and its spurs is an ongoing process that involves the landowners and volunteer hiking groups. Maintenance work ranges from simple periodic "brushing out" of the trail corridor to ensure it remains within its specifications, to major and extensive clearing work, bridge replacements, and trail reconstruction following wind storms, ice storms, floods, or the passage of time. Overall coordination of the trail's management and maintenance among the various landowners, educational programs, and the development and sale of the book Guide To The Foothills Trail, have been through the Foothills Trail Conference (FTC), a non-profit organization founded in 1974 to promote and support the development, maintenance, and use of the Foothills Trail.
Major trail maintenance work is also coordinated by the landowners or other entities that have accepted responsibility for the trail. Among the South Carolina segments of the trail discussed above, the following are major coordinators and implementers of trail maintenance: DPC, SCPRT, USFS and SCDNR.
Planning for the Trail's Future
The Foothills Trail Conference will coordinate a meeting during 1999 of a core team from the landowners and major volunteer groups associated with the trail. This team, through the FTC, will make any needed recommendations regarding changes in trail maintenance, changes in spurs, and information provided to the public about the trail and its resources. The team will also suggest steps for implementing any recommended changes.
Table Rock and Keowee-Toxaway state parks can serve as access points for additional trail access into Jocassee Gorges property. A trail system linking these two parks is possible and will be considered. Consideration will also be given to developing additional trail access. Short loop trails may be developed from primary access areas (highways, parks) that will allow the general public and those with limited mobility to experience the property.
Primitive camping opportunities will be made available to meet remote camping needs of visitors. Primitive-type camping and necessary access trails or roads should be developed at strategically located sites. Facilities should be minimal and should not include significantly more than campsite site areas (pads), pump water source, and perhaps a "sweet smell"-type toilet in certain locations. Recreational Vehicle-type (RV) camping facilities (travel trailers, motor homes) will generally not be provided on the property. Numerous state parks already in the immediate area, such as Table Rock State Park, Devil's Fork State Park, and Oconee State Park, can meet the needs of RV campers. Additionally, private land camping may be developed in the area, which will help the local economy. Development and maintenance regulations for primitive camp areas on the property will be developed. Primitive camp areas will be strategically located to meet the needs of overnight users. All user groups including hunters, fishermen, hikers, horseback riders, and other visitors will be given consideration in the development of camping areas. The existing camp area in Laurel Fork Creek will be maintained to meet walk-in camping needs. Drive-in access and use as a hunt camp is questionable because of the poor condition and location of the access road following recent flooding. The creek ford areas on Laurel Fork Creek need much upgrading and perhaps relocation if the Laurel Fork/Jackies Ridge access road is to be offered as public access. This situation is currently being evaluated to determine future actions.
Erecting permanent structures by campers in camp areas will be prohibited and any such structures will be removed by SCDNR. Reserving camp areas will not be allowed. Camp areas will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration and user fees may be considered in the future to help maintain camp areas. Pole tents must be removed upon departure.
E. HORSEBACK RIDING
Horseback riding in the mountains of Jocassee Gorges is a traditional use of the property. Utilizing well-established forest access roads, with a firm base for trails, will help prevent erosion problems. Seasonal public access roads will be open for horseback riding initially. Horseback riding will be permitted on designated roads on a year-round basis. Horseback riders are encouraged to ride during months when gates are closed and on Sundays when gates are open to avoid conflicts with other user groups (ex. ATV's, OHV's). For safety reasons. horseback riders are encouraged to wear brightly colored clothing (ex. florescent orange hat or vest) while riding during designated hunting seasons (Oct. through December and April).
Development of additional horseback riding trails, camp area(s), and staging areas will be considered and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Consideration will be given to provide a year-round horse trail(s) on or near the property.
SCDNR will continue to work cooperatively with state-wide and local horseback riding
association representatives to develop additional horseback riding opportunities.
F. MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDING (NON-MOTORIZED)
Mountain bike riding will be permitted in designated areas. Initially, mountain bikes will be allowed on all established logging roads and access roads on a year-round basis. For safety reasons, bikers in the Jocassee Gorges are encouraged to wear brightly colored clothing (ex. florescent orange hat or vest) while riding during designated hunting seasons (Oct. through December and April). Mountain bikes will not be permitted on designated hiking trails or transmission (power) line rights of way. If resource damage occurs in certain areas or roads, these areas will be declared off limits to mountain bikes. Signs will be placed in areas unavailable to mountain bike travel. A cooperative mountain bike trail is currently being considered and specific plans may be developed in the near future.
G. OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE / ALL TERRAIN VEHICLE ACCESS
Off-highway vehicles (OHV) and all terrain vehicles (ATV) will be permitted on seasonally open public access roads during the time roads are open (see road schedule). Mufflers will be required on OHVs to minimize conflicts with other user groups. This is the same access opportunity available under past management.
H. ROCK CLIMBING AND RAPPELLING
Rock climbing and rappelling at Jumping Off Rock, the Drawbar Cliffs, and the rock cliffs at Doug Mountain Bridge on the Eastatoee River will not be allowed. In addition, structured and permitted rock climbing opportunities are currently available at Table Rock State Park. Peregrine falcons, an endangered bird, are known to use some rock cliff areas of Jocassee Gorges. The only breeding pair of falcons is found in a similar adjacent area on Greenville Water System property. Rock climbing and rappelling may discourage peregrine use.
I. MISCELLANEOUS ACTIVITIES
Two traditional uses are sometimes a part of visitation in the area. Cutting "ivy" or mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) branches for sale to florists has been a traditional historic use of the mountain region. The USFS issues permits for such activity on the adjacent Andrew Pickens District (78,000 acres) of the Sumter National Forest. Mountain laurel is in great abundance on Jocassee Gorges property. Mountain laurel forms dense thickets in the mountains, and it has been suggested that it is more abundant now than it ever was due to "high grading" timber stands and exclusion of fire. Mountain laurel collecting on the property will be allowed for individual use. Commercial ivy collecting will not be allowed.
Blackberry and blueberry picking are traditional uses on the property. Berry picking will be allowed on Jocassee Gorges property. It is doubtful that wild berry picking will reduce the number of berries available to wildlife since most persons restrict their activities to roadsides and edges, leaving the entire interior patches untouched. Additionally, during the summer berry season, access roads will be closed to vehicles. This will substantially limit access to interior areas.
Collecting of all other plants, including wildflowers, will be strictly prohibited.
X. POWER LINE RIGHTS OF WAY (ROWs): DUKE ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION
DET has retained ownership of lands needed to support transmission lines through the Jocassee Gorges area. The primary goals of these lands and their management are to ensure safe, effective, and reliable delivery of power, and to ensure the continuation of an effective vegetative cover to control erosion and protect aesthetic values.
In conjunction with these primary goals, DET and SCDNR will form a team to plan and
work cooperatively toward 1) ensuring that any allowed public access to these ROWs is compatible with the primary goals, 2) continuing to assure that DET's land and vegetative cover management are compatible with the protection of important natural resources within the ROW (i.e. gamebirds, rare species, trout streams, others), and 3) examining opportunities for SCDNR to implement resource enhancement activities.
Transmission ROWs are attractive for many types of public usage. While some of these are compatible with DET's primary goals, many are not. Many uses can be destructive and costly from the standpoint of repair of facilities or replacement of effective erosion control structures and vegetation. DET/SCDNR will work together to plan and provide for appropriate and compatible public access to and uses of the Jocassee Gorges area ROWs.
Prior to preparation of specific plans, the following will be general guidelines for resource management and public use of these ROW areas. The ROW lands within the boundaries or directly adjacent to Jocassee Gorges property will be included in the SCDNR WMA Program.
A. PUBLIC ACCESS
Access By Motorized Vehicles, Mountain Bikes, and Horses will not be allowed except on designated trails crossing the ROW's. Access roads and trails to the ROWs will be gated or otherwise signed, and public vehicle travel and horse riding will not be permitted behind the gates or in the ROWs. Exceptions to this general item (regarding motorized vehicles, mountain bikes, horses) may occur following development and implementation of appropriate plans and actions by DET and SCDNR to insure that these public users stay on specified roadways, trails, etc. within the ROW. Foot travel will be allowed.
Hunting will be allowed consistent with hunting season regulations and annually established and publicized plans and regulations determined by the DETand SCDNR. Deer stands and other structures may not be attached to power poles or towers.
B. WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
The open, non-forested nature of ROWs in the Jocassee Gorges area provides for some unique opportunities for wildlife protection and management. The DET and SCDNR will examine such opportunities to enhance wildlife habitat, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities associated with these ROWs.
The DET will plan its mowing schedule for ROW vegetation management so as to reduce or eliminate impacts to ground-and shrub-nesting birds such as wild turkeys, quail, and certain songbirds (field sparrows, chats, meadow larks, etc.). The mowing work (which will generally be scheduled for late summer, fall, or winter months) will be reviewed with SCDNR biologists.
Wildlife Habitat Enhancements
DET and SCDNR will continue to work cooperatively to plan and provide for appropriate wildlife habitat enhancements. Activities may include planting and maintaining wildlife food plots; encouraging "thickets" of low-growing, fruit-producing shrubs; and placing bird boxes or other animal houses.
C. PROTECTION OF UNIQUE NATURAL RESOURCES
Unique natural resources such as rare species, and trout streams and their tributaries are protected in ROWs:
Prior to the construction of the existing ROWs in the Jocassee Gorges area, DET and SCDNR cooperated to complete surveys of rare species that would be within the ROW areas. Plans were put into place at that time to prevent detrimental impacts to these identified species and their surrounding habitats. These species include Oconee bells, various species of native orchids, and shrubs ranging from azaleas to witch alder, among others. These species, and their identified populations within the ROWs, are shown on work maps and will continue to receive protection in conjunction with DET's ROW management plan and any public access that is allowed under the DET/SCDNR plans for the ROWs.
Prior to the construction of the existing ROWs, DET and SCDNR cooperated to identify all trout streams and important tributaries that potentially could be impacted by the ROWs and to develop plans to avoid impacts to these important resources. This was accomplished through unique siting and construction techniques developed by DET, in cooperation with SCDNR and other resource agencies, for the mountainous Jocassee landscape. As a result, significant protective woodland buffers have remained established around trout streams along the ROW routes. These continue to provide a canopy to shade the streams and help protect the streams from any sedimentation caused by ROW construction or other activities. These streams, and their protection, will continue to be a focal point as DET and SCDNR develop additional plans regarding the management of these ROWs.
D. MANAGEMENT PLANNING PROCESS AND SCHEDULE FOR THE ROWs
Staff from SCDNR and DET will be appointed, and they will serve as contacts to 1) establish a core DET/SCDNR team, and 2) schedule meetings of this team to initiate further development of a DET/SCDNR plan for ROW management in the Jocassee Gorges area that addresses pertinent topics.
XI. EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES
The diverse and unique natural resources on Jocassee Gorges provide an exceptional opportunity for "outdoor classroom" education. SCDNR will promote education opportunities on Jocassee Gorges property. Natural resource demonstration projects will be considered and implemented. Education opportunities could include demonstrations of forest management practices, wildlife management practices, and many more. Jocassee Gorges property will serve as a site for numerous outdoor workshops.
A specific example of an education opportunity is providing visitors with interpretive information on forest management. Signs should identify a variety of timber stand types and ages showing results of past management practices. These stands could be used for information and education demonstrations and in-house biological studies.
Construction of a visitors center for Jocassee Gorges will be considered as funding allows.
XII. SIGN PLAN FOR PROPERTY
Quality signs (similar to USFS signs and signs used at Walhalla State Fish Hatchery), will be placed at major entrances to the property. These signs will include SCDNR's name and the name of the property. SCDNR Department logo will be placed on the main entrance signs. For example, a sign at Laurel Valley Entrance would have SCDNR, followed by Jocassee Gorges, followed by Horsepasture entrance. There should be at least three such signs located at Camp Adger entrance, Cane Creek entrance, and Laurel Valley entrance.
Informational areas (kiosks) will also be needed at major entrances or parking areas to provide visitors with necessary information (regulations, camping areas, hiking trail access areas, maps, etc.)
Property boundary signs will be marked with Wildlife Management Area Signs when surveyed to readily identify property boundaries to visitors. Closed road signs will mark areas closed to motorized vehicles, horses, etc.
XIII. LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSESSMENT
Law enforcement will be a major component of resource management. Directed and random patrols will be relied upon for both deterrence and apprehension. The protection of resources and the safety of persons using those resources will be paramount in all enforcement activities. Authorized uses will be regulated by law enforcement officers to encourage greater voluntary compliance. Laws and regulations will be enforced.
The following addresses the main issues for which the Law Enforcement Division will be responsible and identifies major enforcement needs to enhance public safety, as well as to protect the natural resources. As the management plan evolves, needs and areas of responsibility will be identified.
SCDNR law enforcement officers assigned to Oconee and Pickens counties are responsible for working the Jocassee Gorges property.
Enforcement personnel assigned to Oconee County consist of four officers. These officers are responsible for enforcement on approximately 5,000 acres of Jocassee Gorges property and 10,000 acres of Bad Creek property within the Jocassee Gorges Project. Oconee officers also patrol 85,000 acres of National Forest lands in the WMA program, outside of Jocassee Gorges. In addition, their patrol duties also include all the private lands and public waters of Jocassee, Keowee and Hartwell lakes within the boundaries of Oconee County.
Four Pickens County law enforcement officers are responsible for patrolling approximately 27,000 acres of Jocassee Gorges property. In addition to Jocassee Gorges property, Pickens County officers are responsible for 14,000 acres of DEC property (not in Jocassee Gorges), over 4,000 acres of Clemson University property and all private lands and public waters of Keowee and Jocassee lakes within the boundaries of Pickens County.
This small group of officers may be augmented on occasion by temporary assignments of personnel from other counties for special patrols and operations. Deputy law enforcement officers also assist on specialized patrols. SCDNR personnel with Deputy Law Enforcement Officer commissions, who work in the area on a routine basis, will work with the Law Enforcement Division to ensure enforcement of regulations.
Officers working Jocassee Gorges property routinely remain in these areas for assigned work periods because of mountain roads and terrain that require slow travel by four-wheel-drive vehicles. This slow response time limits their ability to answer calls in other areas of the assigned county. Daily patrols by district officers cannot be accomplished efficiently because of the number of personnel and other enforcement responsibilities. The Jocassee Gorges property is normally patrolled one time weekly and daily on weekends when gates are open.
All SCDNR law enforcement officers receive the standard 10-week police officer basic training at the Criminal Justice Academy, followed by a five-week SCDNR basic training course.
Officers assigned to the property and officers assigned to Oconee and Pickens counties will be given extensive training in search-and-rescue procedures for mountainous terrain, white-water rescue, crowd control, traffic control, identifying plant and animal species, use of specialized equipment, horseback riding, and canine training.
C. TRADITIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT
SCDNR officers assigned to this area are currently responsible for enforcing all state laws and regulations that pertain to this area. The following activities are currently monitored on the properties.
Laws pertaining to big game (deer, turkey and bears) and small game (squirrels, raccoons and migratory birds) are presently enforced on the properties. Enforcement of all wildlife-related laws will be a primary responsibility.
Extensive efforts currently emphasize enforcement of laws pertaining to the areas trout fisheries.
a) Trout Streams
Enforcement responsibilities consist of checking licenses, creel and possession limits, use of illegal bait, and size limits.
b) Jocassee Lake
This lake is the largest lake trout fishery in the state. Enforcement responsibilities consist of checking licenses, creel and possession limits, size limits and enforcing the regulation concerning the illegal use of baits.
3) Backpacking (Hiking)
Present enforcement responsibilities include patrolling the Foothills Trail, scenic waterfalls, and numerous walking trails. Officers primary task consists of performing search-and-rescue operations for lost or injured hikers.
Primitive camping areas are located throughout the properties. SCDNR officers are currently tasked with the responsibilities of enforcing camping regulations that pertain to campers using non-designated areas.
5) Wildlife and Outdoor Photography/Bird-Watching
Enforcement responsibilities include performing search-and-rescue operations for missing outdoor photographers and bird watchers who get lost in remote areas such as Jumping Off Rock. Currently no laws or regulations exist concerning this group of outdoor enthusiasts.
6) Rock Climbing
Past enforcement responsibilities consisted of performing search-and-rescue operations
when these individuals became lost or injured. Since rock climbing and rappelling will be
prohibited on Jocassee Gorges, future efforts will involve monitoring for compliance.
7) Recreational Riding of OHVs
OHV use consists of four-wheelers, two-wheel dirt bikes, and four-wheel drive vehicles. The improper use of vehicles has been and continues to be a major enforcement problem in the mountain areas of Jocassee Gorges. Traditional use of off-highway vehicles on non-designated areas can degrade native trout waters, wildlife food plots, plantings, and wildlife habitat. Destruction of gates and signs designating closed areas for vehicles constitutes major enforcement problems currently for all officers enforcing this area. Many man hours are expended patrolling the Jocassee Gorges area for violations of closed roads and intentional destruction of gates and signs.
Current law needs to be changed to give the SCDNR the authority to enforce all laws and regulations that apply to WMA lands. Also, WMA Regulation 123.94 (#14) needs to be repealed with the appropriate penalty section.
D. SEARCH AND RESCUE
The Law Enforcement Division of the SCDNR is a public safety entity responsible for search and rescue of missing persons.
The types of search-and-rescue missions should not change with the expansion of the use of the property; however, the number of rescues will probably increase.
All the necessary equipment such as four-wheel-drive vehicles, four-wheelers, radio equipment, helicopter, horses, canines, and rappelling equipment will be needed to perform these rescue operations.
One of the main items of equipment needed to perform these search-and-rescue operations is the SCDNR's helicopter. The department's chief pilot will be designating helicopter landing sites for possible consideration in future development of these properties. The assigned officers should receive some specific training as helicopter spotters, which will further enhance their value as observers and coordinators during the on-area flights. Climbing clubs and/or military experts will be used to assist in search-and-rescue operations for which officers have not received extensive training (i.e. mountain climbing, rappelling).
E. PROPERTY CRIME
Common types of vandalism that presently occur are the destruction of gates, signs and trail markers, and the painting of graffiti on rocks and scenic overlooks.
Currently there is a problem of theft of personal equipment of hunters, backpackers, and fishermen.
Destruction of Roads
Currently there is a major problem of off-road vehicles, horses, etc. causing extensive damage to the road system.
Illegal dumping and indiscriminate littering pose a major problem.
Additional manpower will be needed to deter these activities, while electronic monitoring equipment may be of help in some instances. Saturation patrols will be organized utilizing additional SCDNR manpower, as well as other law enforcement agencies' personnel.
F. LIAISON WITH OTHER DIVISIONS/AGENCIES
The district captain, unit supervisor, and local SCDNR officers will work closely with other divisions in writing regulations, closing roads, setting seasons, etc. Regular meetings will be held to coordinate and cultivate good planning and communications.
Oconee and Pickens Counties' sheriffs' departments, SCFC and SCPRT presently have a good working relationship with the SCDNR. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the two sheriffs' offices, SCFC, SCPRT, local rescue squads, etc. may be established to reduce potential conflicts and formalize assistance that will be provided, especially relating to some of the activities in which the different entities would be involved. These would include search-and-rescue missions, thefts, vandalism, illegal drug use, underage drinking, and cultivation of marijuana.
All SCDNR officers patrolling Jocassee Gorges area are assigned four-wheel-drive vehicles. Four-wheel-drive is necessary to effectively patrol all areas of this property. More than 90 percent of the public entering Jocassee property operate four-wheel drive vehicles. All-terrain four-wheelers are assigned to officers in Oconee and Pickens Counties. The vehicles are used to work remote, off-road areas of Jocassee Gorges to apprehend subjects driving behind closed gates, conduct search-and-rescue operations, enforce the removal of marijuana plants, investigate baiting areas, and apprehend non-resident hunters crossing over the South Carolina-North Carolina line in remote areas.
At least two all-terrain four-wheelers and boats will need to be assigned and possibly located on-site for quick emergency response. All of the officers assigned to the two counties presently have similar vehicles assigned that are used throughout the entire work area.
Communication by radio is sometimes difficult and requires officers to climb or drive to higher elevations to talk to Columbia and Greenville radio stations on Caesars Head repeater. Long Mountain repeater in Oconee County has been and will remain the primary channel for officers working in remote areas of Jocassee Gorges properties. All employees and other individuals that work the two-county area presently have various means of communications. It is imperative that the sheriffs' departments, local rescue squads, other divisions, and other agencies involved in the properties have a similar and compatible radio communication system. If manpower is added, each additional officer will require mobile units and walkie talkies. Additionally, officers patrolling these areas should be issued cellular phones to enhance the communication possibilities.
The purchase of electronic monitoring equipment will enhance and improve enforcement abilities in areas where 24-hour presence cannot be accomplished and will allow officers to strategically locate cameras in areas of high vandalism. This equipment is fairly expensive. However, the results should justify the expense.
This area may be suitable for a recently developed Portable Audible Locator (PAL) system for search-and-rescue missions. This has been an effective tool in locating lost hikers, hunters and anglers in the Ocala National Forest in Florida. The information on this system will be forthcoming.
XV. BUDGETARY ISSUES
A. MANAGEMENT FUNDING FOR JOCASSEE GORGES/TRUST FUND
Legislation is currently progressing through the South Carolina General Assembly that will create the Jocassee Gorges Trust Fund. The trustees would be the SCDNR Board. The trustees would assist and oversee the raising of an endowment sufficient to meet the ordinary expenses of managing the property. Certain capital expenditures could be made from the fund, but the principal obligation of the trustees will be to maintain a permanent balance sufficient to provide operating expenses and allow for inflation. The SCDNR Board has established an advisory committee to help with the fundraising task and has initiated a search for a full-time fundraiser.
Securing management funding for Jocassee Gorges will offer an immediate challenge to SCDNR. Staffing the area with management and law enforcement personnel, procuring necessary heavy equipment to maintain the property, and other management-related needs will be expensive. Access road repairs and maintenance represent the most immediate need and expense to SCDNR. Preliminary estimates for first-year road repairs and upgrades exceed one half million dollars. It will be essential initially to form cooperative agreements with DEC, CRI, SCFC, SCDOT and other agencies to conduct road repairs during the interim while management funding is being established. SCDNR will explore the opportunity to train appropriate staff in mountain road repairs, maintenance, and erosion control under agreement with the aforementioned.
Short-term personnel, equipment, and operation and maintenance needs for protection and management of Jocassee Gorges property are presented (Appendix A-6). Interim planning and cooperative agreements will be required to maintain the property until adequate management funding is secured.
B. USER FEES
Overwhelming support of user fees to support management of Jocassee Gorges was voiced by constituents during the public meeting process. User fees are generally implemented for services provided. Current regulations restrict SCDNR from assessing user fees. Legislation is pending authorizing a user fee for SCDNR property. Depending on the outcome of this legislation, user fees may be considered in the future as a source of revenue for management services.
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Table A-1. List of All Issues and Votes at Jocassee Gorge Public Meeting Held in Pickens on January 8, 1998.
MAINTAIN AS STATUS QUO 168
TIMBER HARVESTING (IN FAVOR OF WILDLIFE AND FORESTRY) 164
REASONABLE ACCESS 131
USER FEES 121
REMAINED UNDEVELOPED (NO STATE OR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT) 116
MULTIPLE-USE RECREATION 114
HANDICAP ACCESS 93
CONSERVATION AND EDUCATION 82
PRESERVE BIODIVERSITY 75
ORV ACCESS 74
PLAN DRIVEN BY SOLID SCIENTIFIC DATA 73
LAW ENFORCEMENT 71
TIMBER HARVESTING (AGAINST) 68
NO ORV MECHANICAL VEHICLE ACCESS 64
LIMITED TIMBER HARVESTING (SELECT CUT,ETC) 54
ROAD MAINTENANCE 41
HORSEBACK RIDING 39
NO NEW ROADS 38
HERITAGE PRESERVE ON SECTIONS OF PROPERTY 37
ATV ACCESS 34
BMP FOR ALL USES 29
MOUNTAIN BIKES 26
ZONING (MANAGEMENT UNITS) 23
DESIGNATED TRAILS 21
PROTECT SPECIES (PLANT AND ANIMAL) 20
MAINTAIN PURE WATER QUALITY 20
OLD GROWTH 18
LIMITED PRESERVATION 16
LOCAL INPUT 15
REINTRODUCE ONLY NATIVE PLANTS 15
DESIGNATED AREA FOR ALL MOTORIZED VEHICLES 14
WHOLE PROPERTY HERITAGE PRESERVE 14
SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION 13
HUNTING AND CAMPING 11
HORSEBACK AND CAMPING 11
YEAR ROUND ACCESS (INCLUDED IN REASONABLE ACCESS) 10
24 HOUR STAFF SUPPORT 9 MANAGE AS DNR NOT HERITAGE PRESERVE 9
ACQUIRE ADJACENT LANDS 8
HIKING AND CAMPING 8
LIMIT GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF RESOURCE AND PEOPLE 7
HUNTING OPS 7
CREATING FUNDING GOALS 7
RESOURCE PRESERVATION 7
AVOID SHORT TERM OVERUSE 6
ASSIGN BOARD 6
BOTANY RESEARCH 6
ECOLOGICAL VALUES (PRODUCT OF FOREST MANAGEMENT
BENEFIT TO MAN) 6
IMPROVE SIGNS FOR ROADS AND TRAILS 5
BUFFER ZONE ADJACENT TO PRIVATE LANDOWNERS 5
BIRD AND NATURE OBSERVATION 4
CONCERN OVER AGGRESSIVE TIMETABLE FOR PLAN 4
PRESERVE BIOLOGY AND GEOLOGY 4
RESTORE DEGRADED HABITATS 4
WILDLIFE PRESERVATION 4
FUNDING SOURCES 4
MAINTAIN FOOTHILLS TRAIL 4
NO HIKING TRAILS ADJACENT TO PRIVATE LANDS 4
ACCESS TO RETRIEVE DOGS IN CANE CREEK 3
CONTINUE ACCESS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY 3
RECIPROCAL LICENCE WITH N.C. 3
NO HUNTING 3
REVIEW MANAGEMENT PLAN FROM IN AND OUTSIDE OF S.C. 3
HUMAN ACTIVITY CARRYING CAPACITY 3
USE CHATOOGA WATERSHED AS EXAMPLE 2
COOPERATE WITH ACTIVITIES IN NC 2
NO MINING 2
CHANGE GATES FOR HORSES 2
MARKETING AND TOURISM 2
MINIMIZE OR NO CAMPING 2
LOW IMPACT USE 1
NO BLACK BEAR HUNTING 1
NO NON-NATIVE WILDLIFE
COOPERATIVE TRANSITION BETWEEN CRESCENT AND DNR 1
NO BEAR HUNTING WITH DOGS 1
NO MOTORIZED BOAT AREA IN JOCASSEE 1
TOPO MAPS 1
NO CHEMICAL USE 1
PET RESTRAINT 1
RECOGNIZE UNIQUE AREAS 1
MANAGE FOR GROUSE 1
NO MECHANICAL TIMBER HARVESTING 1
THE FOLLOWING ISSUES WERE PRESENTED BUT RECEIVED NO VOTES.
NEED ACCESS ROAD TO LOWER END
REPAIR EXISTING ROADS AND BRIDGES
NO NEW ACCESS
NO WASTE DUMPING
SPEED LIMITS POSTED
HIKING TRAIL TO APPALACHIAN TRAIL
CREATE JOCASSEE MAP ON DNR HOMEPAGE
DEVILS FORK SWIMMING AREAS
RESTRICT BOAT RAMP PARKING TO VEHICLES WITH VOTES
NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY
EXPLICIT PUBLIC INPUT
BE LIKE US FOREST SERVICE
NO PAVED ROADS
PURCHASE WHITEWATER, THOMPSON, LIMBERPOLE AND HOWARD CREEKS
SALAMANDER AND AMERICAN CHESTNUT PRESERVATION
PERIODICALLY UPDATE MANAGEMENT PLANS (MAKE FIRST PLAN ELASTIC)
Table A-2. The Top Five Issues by Working Group for the Pickens Public Meeting on January 8, 1998.
Group 1 #Votes
1. Conservation Education 16
2. Recovery of Old Growth Forest 18
3. Not Exploited Financially 10
4. Preservation of Biodiversity 21
5. Hunting and Camping 11
Group 2 #Votes
1. Camping (designated camping only) 31
2. Wildlife Management (hunting and fishing) 15
3. People Management(Access and Parking) 15
4. Plan driven by solid scientific data 14
5. Limited government regulations in managing 7
Resource and people
Group 3 #Votes
1. Provide reasonable access around perimeter areas 19
2. Restrict any commercial development or future sale 25
3. Preservation of Biodiversity 19
4. Develop BMP's for all uses 29
5. Multiple Use (hunting, hiking &horseback riding) 23(tie)
5. Define boundaries and make thorough resource 23(tie)
Group 4 #Votes
1. No new roads 12
2. Zoning(regional concept - sensitive vs unsensitive) 13
3. Manage sections as Heritage Preserve 12
-don't prohibit trout stocking
-don't prohibit access
4. Remain undeveloped and uncommercialized 11
5. Inventory of what's there before management strategies 10
Group 5 #Votes
1. Preservation of Biodiversity 19
2. Encourage user fees 21
3. Preservation of Wilderness experience 16
4. Continue Wildlife Management 16
5. Kept as is except for highly selective logging and no clear cutting. 14
Group 6 #Votes
1. Preservation and Wilderness conservation 32
2. Enforcement of laws and rules 26
3. No new roads and don't repair existing roads 20
4. Separate use of areas - multiple use 19
5. Maintain status quo of uses, monitor and address 18
Group 7 #Votes
1. Coldwater Fisheries 26
2. Natural Preservation(manage as wilderness) 24
3. No development 20
4. Maintain status quo 15
5. Opposed to mechanical vehicle access 14
- only allow access to perimeter
Group 8 #Votes
1. Timber management for a reason when necessary 21
(ie wildlife and fire protection)
2. Maintain current road system 22
- need access to lower end
- maintain existing roads and use as Duke used
3. No sale or trade of property for development 20
4. Some areas should be preserved - restrictions 16
5. Establish voluntary programs for care of area 15
Group 9 #Votes
1. Hiking 15
2. Protect species (plant and animals) 11
3. Forest Management (visual impacts) 10
4. Fishing 9
5. Hunting - sustainable 8
Group 10 #Votes
1. Establish users fees for all activities to fund 14
management and security.
2. Prevent clear cutting 11
3. Preserve sensitive areas that contain native plant 10
Communities, threatened and endangered species.
4. Multiple use in limited areas, but mostly restrict access 9 (tie)
5. Strictly limit all forms of development (ie roads, bridges, etc...) 9 "
5. Maintain Biodiversity 9 "
Group 11 #Votes
1. Conservation 19
2. Wildlife Management(forest mgt. and successional 15
stages for all species).
3. Hunting(monitor black bear harvest closely) 10
4. Camping(Primitive-overnight, designated sites only) 10
5. Timber (Hardwood management, limited 8
consumption of stand improvement, disease control
Group 12 #Votes
1. No state commercialization of area 14
2. User fee for all groups funds used on area 17
3. Year round accessibility 10
4. Aggressive wildlife management 11
5. Handicap facility access 11
Group 13 #Votes
1. Limited responsible access plan and enforce it 17
2. Multiple use plan (w/ ecological protection 16
as to primary consideration)
3. Develop volunteer program to help manage the area 12
4. Charge to enter property 11
5. Maintain status quo 8(tie)
5. No logging allowed 8 "
Group 14 #Votes
1. Multiple use plan (recreation) 17
2. Forest Management 15
3. Local input 15
4. Outdoor education 10
5. Preservation 9(tie)
5. Law enforcement 9 "
5. Reasonable access 9 "
Group 15 #Votes
1. Maintain status quo 17
2. Public policing of area 14
3. Road maintenance 14
4. Funding (user fees) 11
5. No additional timber harvesting 10
Group 16 #Votes
1. Designated areas for all motorized vehicles 14
2. Access fees 13
3. Hiking 12
4. 4x4 trail riding 8(tie)
5. Develop partnerships 8 "
5. No changes in use until scientifically studied 8 "
Group 17 #Votes
1. No commercial logging. Limit logging to 12
wildlife management. All logging must be
Approved by board. Represent all interest not
just SCDNR and SCFC.
2. Access for physically challenged 12
3. Restored and preserved as natural ecosystem 12
No timber activity at all "original state"
4. Preserve setting, maintain water quality, foot access 9
only and no user fees.
5. Prohibit off-road vehicle 8
Group 18 #Votes
1. Heritage Preserve(Entire area) 11
2. Natural resource education 9
3. Maintain status quo 9
4. Assist handicapped individuals 8
5. Partnership with groups 7
Group 19 #Votes
1. Camping 17
2. Handicap access to higher elevations 16
3. Hiking 16 4. Forest Management 15
5. Off highway vehicles 13
Group 20 #Votes
1.Traditional uses 38
2. Natural state including no cutting 27
3. Horseback riding 24
4. User fees 23
5. Off highway vehicles 21
Table A-3. List of Issues and Comments on the Jocassee Gorges Resource Management Plan (Dated March 12, 1998) by Public Meetings, Letters, Contacts, etc., Along with SCDNR Clarification and Responses.
1. Pro Heritage Preserve - Pro Smith Bill --Smith Bill is a legislative issue which is in committee. Reference page 4 of plan under guiding principles.
2. Leave limited access - The majority of forest access roads are closed. Reference Road Access Section on page 49.
3. Continued use of Science Based multi-management which includes hunting, hiking, nature, fishing - Premise of entire plan.
4. Proper riparian zone protection - Page 46--Forest management guidelines include riparian protection. Plan states guidelines will exceed state BMP's and will be rigorous.
5. Roads - Sedimentation Control - Page 52--Installation of sediment traps, water bars, etc. All road maintenance and upgrades will be coordinated with NRCS and SCFC.
6. Prohibit horses - Page 59, Section E--Plan says access will be provided to horses. Horseback riding is traditional use of area. This is a secondary management objective. Careful monitoring to assure compatibility with primary management objective will occur, as with all recreation activities.
7. Prohibit ATV's - Page 61--ATV's will be allowed only on seasonally open roads while gates are open (only approximately 4 months annually).
8. Limited access - No new roads -- Limited access covered in idea #2. No new roads are proposed only upgrading existing roads. Some roads have been closed (Laurel Fork, Jackies Ridge).
9. Camping overnight - follow Foothills Trail Conference - Page 58--Primitive camping opportunities will be allowed. Will be coordinated with FTC.
10. Use Whitewater Corridor Plan - Whitewater Plan has been reviewed and many ideas and approaches incorporated. (ex. Conservation group consultation, old growth, protection of unique botanical areas, etc.).
11. Leave as semi-wilderness - Page 53--Addressed. Primitive or back-country experience will be provided. Scenic and trail buffers will be established, areas for old growth.
12. No road building or repair to center of property - Page 51, Reference idea #2-- Foot, bike, and horse travel will be the only allowed access to center of property over 7 months each year.
13. Support User fees - Page 77--Current regulations restrict SCDNR from accessing user fees. Legislation is pending.
14. Hunter can use ATV's during season - off of main road--Hunters can use ATV's on main roads during season. No ATV's off of open roads due to erosion and other resource damage.
15. Supports trail development - Page 56--Additional trail access and partnerships are being evaluated and considered.
16. Area should be roadless - Seasonal access is a compromise between constituents who desire improved access to enjoy the property and groups who desire more solitude.
17. No bear hunting - Page 36-37--Bear hunting is a traditional use of the area. Bear populations and harvests are closely monitored.
18. Timber harvest to reclaim damage - Page 44--This will be covered in detailed forest management plan.
19. No Timber Harvest for Old Growth - Pages 45 & 54--Will be included in detailed forest management plan.
20. No Commercial Timber Harvest - Page 4--DNR will not conduct logging operations solely to generate funds. Timber harvesting will be conducted only to enhance habitat and biodiversity and to sustain forest health. Changes have been made on Page 44 to clarify this issue. Will be included in detailed forest management plan.
21. More Parking - Additional parking areas will be developed. Reference Fig. 2 in Appendix (page 115) for existing parking.
22. More Access Points - See Fig. 2 for existing access. SCDNR does not have right- of-ways for private land but this can be reviewed. See page 49-50 for special access considerations. Seasonal access to most areas with possible year-round access to Laurel Gap is a good compromise.
23. More back country experience - See idea #11--Plan Page 53-54.
24. Pro-Mountain Bike - More access - Page 60--Mountain bikes will be permitted in designated areas. Mountain bike access is very liberal at this point.
25. Wants wolf introduction - Wolf introduction would heavily involve the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
26. Opposed to logging roads - See idea #8.
27. Biodiversity Research - Pages 32-33--Areas needing surveys will be pinpointed using Gap Analysis. Additional work will be developed with Clemson University Biodiversity Initiative Group.
28. Keep as is - maintain as is operationally and access - Page 2--Same opportunities as past generally incorporated in plan.
29. Leave Laurel Fork Creek open - road during hunt season - Page 51--Several options are being reviewed. The current condition of Laurel Fork road is not suitable (impassible) for a public access road.
30. Keep as is for ATV & Horses - Page 59--Horse issue is being addressed with local and state horseback riding representatives. Page 61--ATV is "as is".
31. No timber cutting - Pages 4 & 5--see idea #20.
32. Maintain camping in Laurel Fork - Page 58 --See idea #29.
33. Open old roads especially from Horsepasture to Musterground - Would require going through North Carolina. This is not a feasible alternative.
34. Expanded access for trails and roads - Reference ideas #21 & #22.
35. More access horseback riders - Reference idea #30.
36. Support timber management for wildlife - Reference idea #20.
37. Leave road schedule and gate as is - See Appendix, Table A-7. Generally done.
38. In favor of daylighting - Page 52--Daylighting will be used on some roads.
39. Leave open Horsepasture Road all year - both ends--Cleo Chapman highway closing is beyond SCDNR control. This access was not included in the Jocassee Gorges purchase.
40. Don't close Cleo Chapman road - See idea #39.
41. Year round access all roads - See idea #22.
42. Too much emphasis on timber management - Page 4-5--Detailed Forestry Plan will be developed. Public review will be solicited.
43. Road management leads to erosion - Reference idea #5.
44. Management should be geared to biodiversity and species protection - Page 4-- reference idea #27.
45. Game species should be secondary - Pages 4-5--Refer to guiding principles. Maintaining all wildlife species is a primary goal.
46. No ATV's -*
47. Limited access--*
48. Less impact in Cane Break where rare species are found - Page 4-5--Rare species will be protected.
49. Horse travel minimized - Reference ideas #6 and #30.
50. Some select cutting of pines - Detailed Forestry Plan will be developed.
51. No hardwood cutting - Detailed Forestry Plan will be developed.
52. Repair Laurel Fork - keep open - Reference idea #29.
53. No out-of-state people comments on management plan - All ideas were considered equally.
54. Off road vehicles - pro - DNR staff has visited Tellico site and consulted with biologists/managers of area. The guiding principles were be used to determine this issue. No additional access or trails will be provided.
55. In favor of all hunting with emphasis on bear hunting--Page 6. Reference idea #17.
56. Protect wood frogs, bobcats, bears, and brook trout - Pages 28-33, 35-36 in plan.
57. ATV clubs maintain roads - Pages 52-53. Reference idea #14.
58. California Green Sticker Program - ATV's -- Idea #13.
59. Trash cans - Pack it in/Pack in out philosophy--Trash cans are high maintenance and unsightly. Would create nuissance animal problems (ex. bears, raccoons).
60. Detailed Forest Management Plan - Pages 4, 42-47--We will develop plan.
61. Use Clemson and USC - Page 31, see idea #27--Wording has been changed to reflect this idea.
62. Anti-SC Forestry Comm. - SC Forestry Commission professional forresters write forestry plans for all state lands.
63. Use upper Telico OHV Area as example - See idea #54.
64. In favor of deer and bear hunting and management - Page 6--Reference idea #17.
65. Against clearcuts - Page 4-5--Detailed Forest Management Plan will be developed.
66. Question public input data analyses - A well-structured, unbiased assessment of public comments has been conducted. Diverse public interests have been incorporated.
67. Against game management - Reference idea #45.
68. No horse or ORV riding during wet days - No practical way to achieve. Can be advocated for voluntary compliance.
69. Oppose practically everything in plan - Opinions noted.
70. Mountain bike trails closed during hunting seasons - Trails will be optional during hunting season and will be designated. International orange is advocated during hunting seasons.
71. No timber cutting on scenic areas - Page 4-5--Detailed Forest Management will be developed. Page 46 asserts that timber buffers will be established in scenic areas.
72. Anti-Heritage Trust/Pro-management - Pages 4-5--See idea #1.
73. No ban on motorcycles with proper mufflers - Page 60 Mufflers will be required--Decibel level restrictions are being considered.
74. Wording on timber harvest - consistent - Sierra Club--Reference idea #20.
75. Favors timber management - Pages 4-6--Detailed Forest Management Plan will be developed.
76. Buy additional access - Will be considered.
77. Pine Beetle is bark beetle - Change made in plan.
78. Partnerships with resource professionals - Page 3--We plan to work with recognized resource professionals.
79. Support timber management - Pages 4-5--Reference idea #75.
80. Preserve native brook trout - Pages 38--Brook trout management is given priority.
81. In favor of wildlife management - Reference idea #45.
82. Trail maintenance through OHV groups - Reference idea #57.
83. Anti-Timmerman - name - Legislative matter.
84. No vision statement - Page 4--Guiding principles are a vision statement.
85. Citizens advisory board advocated - Public input will be received through other means and existing DNR boards.
86. Retain Name - Horsepasture for property - Reference idea #83.
87. Control burn - use existing roads - firebreak - Detailed Forest Management Plan will be prepared which includes controlled burn plans.
88. Enforcement of litter laws, hunting, fishing - Pages 67-74--Addressed in plan.
89. Address search and rescue - Page 71--See idea #88.
90. No additional user fees - Reference idea #13--Reference Appendix, Table A-1., Page 87. Support for user fees was a top issue in public hearing process.
91. Red wolf re-introduction - Reference idea #25.
92. Don't lease or sell property - Property will not be leased or sold. Plan will be amended to reflect this. Senate bill 852, Section 50-3-980 if passed will sign this idea into law.
93. Let horse clubs help maintain - Reference idea #30.
94. Protect Lake Jocassee - Page 46--BMP's will exceed state guidelines.
95. Access to power line, right-of-ways (row's) - Page 62-67--ROW's controlled by Duke Energy.
96. Make maps and media information available - As funds become available maps, etc., will be provided.
97. Volunteer program of search and rescue - Reference idea #89.
98. No new parking - Reference idea #21.
99. Conservation and extreme caution - Page 4-6--Conservation and caution will be observed.
100. Sunday horseback during hunting season - Reference idea 30--Horseback will be allowed year round seven days a week on main roads. Change addressed on page 59.
101. Tie into Bartram and Appalachian Trail - Already connected.
102. Clemson University Adaptive Management Plan - Clemson University is experimenting with this idea. We are watching their process closely. This plan advocates adaptive management in the sense that it is a continually evolving process.
103. Address archeological issues - work with State Museum - Page 30--Plan incorporates archeological issues.
104. Preserve Old logging railroad - Will be left in place.
105. Thorough plans and public input - Page 1--Substantial public input has been solicited and evaluated.
106. Plan should not pride in status quo - SCDNR strives for improved natural resource conservation practices while continuing compatible traditional activities. Idea incorporated on page 6-7 of plan.
107. No ATV's - Reference idea #7.
108. No horse restriction during hunting season - Reference idea #100.
109. Thorough study prior to access - funding needed, inventory and survey - Pages 4-5, 29, --Reference idea #27.
110. Biological, zoological, and archeological research prior to timber plan and road relocation - Pages 30-32--Future developments and forest management practices will be coordinated and evaluated to avoid adverse impacts.
111. Meet with user groups about trail use - When appropriate we will meet with user groups.
112. No eleagnus (Autumn olive) - No future Eleagnus plantings are planned on this property.
113. Plan should go to all libraries statewide - Plan was on Internet, local libraries and all SCDNR offices.
114. No motorized vehicles - Reasonable access is important to many user groups-- Reference idea #12.
115. Emphasize native plants - Page 44--Plan on re-introducing chestnuts when feasible. Although non-invasive non-natives will be used, this area provides a testing ground for native plants.
116. Too rushed - go slower--General plan had to be in place prior to taking ownership.
117. Against favoring game management - Reference idea #45.
118. Against non-natives - Reference idea #115.
119. Emphasis on protection of threatened plant and animals - Reference idea #48.
120. Close roads where erosion - Reference idea #5.
121. No ORV's - Reference idea #54.
122. Public participation during forestry plan - Page 5-6--Public will be able to participate in Forestry Plan.
123. No Forest fragmentation - Reference idea #20--Detailed Forestry Plan will address this issue.
124. More Law Enforcement Officers - Pages 124-126--In need and budget projections, additional Law Enforcement officers are proposed.
125. Open Jocassee Dam road - Owned and controlled by Duke Power Company.
126. Public clean up program - 1 weekend a month, 1 week a year - Good idea. Conservation groups already involved with DNR on this issue.
127. Don't harm beaver ("Bucky") - Primary approach will be forest management plan that discourages beaver activity on trout streams. Will involve maintenance of adequate stream buffers in mature timber.
128. Keep public meetings - throughout--Idea #105.
129. More rigorous BMP's - Page 46--Reference idea #94.
130. Trails like George Washington National Forest for horses--Reference idea #30.
131. Do not poison streams - Refer to Fishing Management Section--Pages 38-40. Alternative approaches will certainly be considered. Piscicide application would be given careful consideration and extreme caution exercised. There are no current proposals or plans for such projects.
132. Close Horsepasture road between Cane Creek and Laurel Fork - Idea #12.
133. Preservation - Refer to Guiding Principles.
134. Laurel Fork road closed - Idea #29.
135. Wilderness - Idea #11.
136. Limited camping, hunting, fishing - Ideas #3, #9, #55, and #64--State laws control hunting and fishing on public property.
137. Preserves for mountain lions, bears, bobcats - Reference idea #56.
138. Against prescribed fire - Reference idea #87.
139 Close area for 3 years for strategic planning biological assessment--It will take a substantial amount of time to do a forestry plan. We cannot implement forest management practices without a plan. This planning process will be time consuming.
140. Plan addresses early successional for bear - what about old growth--Early successional and old growth are both important for bear. This will be inserted on Page 35.
141. Interested in photography - Ample photo opportunities and access are provided.
142. Quality of experience for recreation - Outdoor recreation is a secondary objective of plan as stated in guiding principles. Plan states on page 53-54 - The primary measure of recreation will be quality and not quantity.
143. Timber harvest for wildlife and biodiversity - Reference idea #20.
144. No development - Page 28--Plan states no residential or commercial development will take place.
145. More study of history and more survey - Reference idea #27.
146. No ATV's - Reference idea #7.
147. Preserve natural areas - Refer to guiding principles.
148. Close some roads - Reference idea #2.
149. Forest management not for timber sales but for natural areas - Reference idea #20.
150. Public involvement - Public involved throughout process.
151. Old Growth - Reference idea #19.
152. Volunteers - Page 3--Volunteers will continue to be used.
153. Watershed protection - Page 46--Idea #94.
154. Primitive Camping Only - Reference idea #9.
155. No introduction of non-natives - Reference idea #115.
156. Fishing should be permitted - Fishing will be permitted.
157. Hunting supervised so as not to conflict with hiking, fishing - Conflicts with user groups has been negligible in past. SCDNR will closely monitor to assure minimal user conflicts.
158. No domestic dogs or cats - Hunting dogs will be allowed during approved seasons. It is illegal to dump pets.
159. Do not let area become like National Park - concern for over-use-- Primitive access and camping should discourage overuse by public.
160.Responsible use of trails and roads for cycling - incorporating cycling rules - All uses will be monitored and regulated as needed.
161. Mountain bikes only on Sunday during hunting season - Idea #24.
162. No road to Jumping Off Rock due to danger - Access will be allowed by motorized vehicle only 5 months out of year.
163. Close Laurel Valley Road at Gap - end Old Horsepasture Road at Cane Creek Page 49--Reference road section.
164. Horse access from Cane Creek, Laurel Valley - Reference idea #30.
165. Fishing, jeeping, camping enjoyed together - These opportunities will be provided.
166. Separate jeep trails - Reference idea #54.
167. Shelterwood-burn regeneration method use - Forestry Plan will be developed-- Idea has been incorporated on page 44.
168. Want area to test 4-wheel drive - hills - Reference idea #54.
169. Uneven-age management will not maintain composition and vigor of oak stands - Detailed Forestry Management Plan will be developed. We are aware of research supporting this idea (ex. Bent Creek Station).
170. Broad-based funding management of property - Pages 5 and 76--Senate Bill 852 would establish Jocassee Gorges Endowment Trust Fund, Other grants, will used. These will be broad-based.
171. Work with PRT to develop human carrying cap model - PRT is on management committee and will be consulted.
172. Spell out public involvement in process - Public input will continue to be evaluated. The public has been involved in every step of plan to date. Reference page 1-2 and Appendix, Tables A-1 through A-3 on page 86.
173. Diving in Jocassee - Watershed protection through BMP's, etc. -- See idea #4.
174. Management on a landscape scale - Wildlife habitat conditions, forest types, successional stages and possible management activities of adjacent lands will be considered as they pertain to management of the Jocassee Gorge ecosystem. This statement will be added to plan -- page 44.
175. Maintain forest integrity - Will be considered in detailed forestry plan.
176. Should include monitoring of squawroot - important for bears - Biologists are not aware of a standardized sampling methodology for monitoring squawroot. It is recognized that squawroot is an important spring food item for bears. It is generally maintained in mature oak stands. This will be an emphasis and consideration in maintaining bear habitat. Other soft mast crops currently are monitored using a regional standardized approach.
177. Should allow rock climbing in areas other than Jumping-off-Rock. Three prominent areas have been identified where rock climbing poses a threat to natural resources (Jumping off Rock, Drawbar Cliffs - Sassafras, and Cliffs on Eastatoee-below High Bridge. The plan has been ammended to prohibit rock climbing only at these three sites.
178. Where does plan address eagles and falcons? Page 32.
179. Keep politics out of DNR - put scientists back on DNR Board. Governor of SC appoints SCDNR Board and Advisory Board.
180.When will SCDNR take ownership? Page 16. Projected times are 24,000 acres in 1998, and 8,000 acres in 1999.
181. Have a refuge for bears. Adjacent Table Rock Watershed is a no hunting and no management refuge for bears. As a side note - studies show that bear use and abundance is much higher on Jocassee Gorges where hunting is allowed.
182. Opposed to tree farming on property - concerned with impacts on water quality. Commercial tree farming or monoculture timber stands are not advocated in the plan. Management of existing pine plantations will occur. Detailed forestry plan with public input will address this issue. Plan states BMP's will exceed state standards and will be rigorous.
183. Wants a published explanation of public input on the plan. See Page 1 of the plan.
184. Concerned that the Game and Fish Division will manage the property. See Page 17. This is a popular misconception. The management team (decision making body) is composed of lead biologists from the three sections that comprise the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. This division (and management team) is composed of 1) The Wildlife Diversity (Heritage Trust) Section biologists, 2) The Wildlife Management Section biologists, and the Freshwater Fisheries Section biologists. Each section has been thoroughly involved in writing and editing the plan. Each section will be thoroughly involved in management of the property, regardless of its designation.
185. Define multi-use management. Management will strive to incorporate a broad spectrum of traditional uses that are compatible with meeting the primary management objective set forth in the plan.
186. Who will grant final plan approval? The SCDNR Board.
187. Will the procedure governing adoption of this final plan be available for public review? All SCDNR Board meetings may be attended by the public. The plan could be approved in either open or executive (closed) session.
188.Will the rationale for final decisions and revisions be displayed? This is part of this display. Reference public input on Page 1.
189. Supports plan for maintaining traditional uses.
190. Opposes fees to launch boats on area lakes. This is beyond the scope of this plan (not on property). SCDNR is working closely with Duke Power Co. and SCPRT on this issue.
191. Opposes management that caters to rich yankees. All public comments have been considered.
192.Favors mini-Heritage Preserves and mini bear sanctuaries. See issue # 1 and issue # 181.
193.Favors early succession for black bears. see issue # 140.
194. Has total confidence that SCDNR and sister agencies will do what is best for property.
195. Wants songbird populations to be monitored. Migratory bird numbers through Jocassee Gorges are monitored by Clemson University. SCDNR works with volunteers on breeding bird surveys in the area. The biodiversity initiative at Clemson will be working with SCDNR on a survey of Swainsons warbler on the property. Songbirds will be a monitoring priority.
196. No spraying of defoliates in Forestry Plan. Detailed forestry plan will address herbicide applications.
197. Question multi-use recreation and whether it is sustainable. All recreational uses will be closely monitored to assure they are compatible with the primary objective.
198. Open trails in summer, closed in winter. Trail access will be monitored. The Foothills trail is the major trail system on the property. Access and management of the trail will be coordinated with adjacent landowners (Duke Power, Crescent Resources, SCPRT, USFS) and organizations such as the Foothills Trail Conference.
199. Stronger laws and confiscation of property for abuse. SCDNR will submit a special regulation package for Jocassee Gorges. Beyond that, this is a legislative issue.
200. A lot of smart people have joined together to produce a very good plan for the property. Maintain attitude of these "founding fathers".
201. Wants scenic quality of Eastatoee Valley protected better than previously. Page 46-47. Scenic areas will designated and protected.
202. More access to physically challenged hunters and fishers. Page 54-55 - Additional access will be considered.
203. Close all roads on Sunday. Would require too much man power. Not feasible with present staffing limitations.
204. No more powerlines. Duke Energy issue.
**Denotes repeat ideas.
Table A-4. Stream Resources within the Jocassee Gorges.
|Drainage||River System||Stream||Miles of Stream|
|Eastatoee||Wild Hog Creek||1.1|
|Eastatoee||Side of Mountain Cr||3.3|
|Eastatoee||Rocky Bottom Creek||6.2|
|Eastatoee||Reedy Cove Creek||6.3|
|Eastatoee||Poplar Hollow Creek||1.9|
|Toxaway||Laurel Fork Creek||7.3|
|Little River||Burgess Creek||1.0|
|Saluda||Oolenoy River||Oolenoy River||3.0|
|Oolenoy River||Emory Creek||8.0|
|Oolenoy River||Willis Creek||3.8|
Total = 88.0 miles
Table A-5. Special Concern Species found in the Jocassee Gorges
|SCIENTIFIC NAME||COMMON NAME||GRANK||SRANK||STATUS|
|ANEIDES AENEUS||GREEN SALAMANDER||G3G4||S1||SC|
|RANA PALUSTRIS||PICKEREL FROG||G5||S?||SC|
|RANA SYLVATICA||WOOD FROG||G5||S3||SC|
|RHINICHTHYS ATRATULUS||BLACKNOSE DACE||G5||S1||SC|
|SOREX HOYI||PYGMY SHREW||G5||S3S4||SC|
|MYOTIS SEPTENTRIONALIS||NORTHERN MYOTIS||G4||S3S4||SC|
|SYLVILAGUS OBSCURUS||APPALACHIAN COTTONTAIL||G4||S2?||SC|
|TAMIASCIURUS HUDSONICUS||RED SQUIRREL||G5||S3?||SC|
|NEOTOMA FLORIDANA||EASTERN WOODRAT||G5||S3S4||SC|
|NEOTOMA FLORIDANA HAEMATOREIA||SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN WOODRAT||G5T4||S3S4||SC|
|SPILOGALE PUTORIUS||EASTERN SPOTTED SKUNK||G5||S4||SC|
|CROTALUS HORRIDUS||TIMBER RATTLESNAKE||G5||S?||SC|
|PLAGIOCHILA CADUCILOBA||GORGE LEAFY LIVERWORT||G2||S?||SC|
|RUELLIA CAROLINIENSIS SSP CILIOSA A||PETUNIA||G5T?||S?||SC|
|HYDROCOTYLE AMERICANA||AMERICAN WATER-PENNYWORT||G5||S?||SC|
|OSMORHIZA CLAYTONII||HAIRY SWEET-CICELY||G5||S?||SC|
|PANAX QUINQUEFOLIUS||AMERICAN GINSENG||G4||S2S3||RC|
|COREOPSIS LATIFOLIA||BROAD-LEAVED TICKSEED||G3||S1||NC|
|SENECIO MILLEFOLIUM||PIEDMONT RAGWORT||G2||S2||RC|
|CAULOPHYLLUM THALICTROIDES||BLUE COHOSH||G5||S2||SC|
|BETULA ALLEGHANIENSIS||YELLOW BIRCH||G5||S1||SC|
|GAYLUSSACIA BACCATA||BLACK HUCKLEBERRY||G5||S?||SC|
|AMORPHA GLABRA||SMOOTH INDIGOBUSH||G4?||S?||SC|
|FOTHERGILLA MAJOR||MOUNTAIN WITCH-ALDER||G3||S1||RC|
|PHILADELPHUS HIRSUTUS||STREAMBANK MOCK-ORANGE||G5||S1||SC|
|COLLINSONIA VERTICILLATA||WHORLED HORSE-BALM||G3||S?||SC|
|PYCNANTHEMUM MONTANUM||SINGLE-HAIRED MOUNTAIN-MINT||G3G5||S1||RC|
|MENISPERMUM CANADENSE||CANADA MOONSEED||G5||S?||SC|
|CIRCAEA LUTETIANA SSP CANADENSIS||ENCHANTER'S NIGHTSHADE||G5T5||S1||SC|
|OROBANCHE UNIFLORA||ONE-FLOWERED BROOMRAPE||G5||S?||SC|
|POLYGALA PAUCIFOLIA||GAY-WING MILKWORT||G5||S1||SC|
|LYSIMACHIA FRASERI||FRASER LOOSESTRIFE||G2||S1||RC|
|CIMICIFUGA AMERICANA||MOUNTAIN BUGBANE||G5||S?||SC|
|TRAUTVETTERIA CAROLINIENSIS||CAROLINA TASSEL-RUE||G5||S?||SC|
|HEUCHERA PARVIFLORA||LITTLE-LEAVED ALUMROOT||G4||S?||SC|
|SAXIFRAGA CAREYANA||CAREY SAXIFRAGE||G3||S1||SC|
|SAXIFRAGA MICRANTHIDIFOLIA||LETTUCE-LEAF SAXIFRAGE||G5||S?||SC|
|TIARELLA CORDIFOLIA VAR CORDIFOLIA||HEART-LEAVED FOAM FLOWER||G5T5||S?||SC|
|CASTILLEJA COCCINEA||SCARLET INDIAN-PAINTBRUSH||G5||S2||RC|
|VIOLA PUBESCENS VAR LEIOCARPON||YELLOW VIOLET||G5TU||S?||SC|
|VIOLA TRIPARTITA||THREE-PARTED VIOLET||G5||S?||SC|
|VIOLA TRIPARTITA VAR TRIPARTITA||THREE-PARTED VIOLET||G5T3?||S?||SC|
|CAREX AUSTROCAROLINIANA||SOUTH CAROLINA SEDGE||G4||S?||SC|
|CAREX BILTMOREANA||BILTMORE SEDGE||G3||S1||NC|
|CAREX PLANTAGINEA||PLANTAIN-LEAVED SEDGE||G5||S?||SC|
|CAREX PRASINA||DROOPING SEDGE||G4||S?||SC|
|CAREX MANHARTII||MANHART SEDGE||G3||S?||SC|
|JUNCUS GYMNOCARPUS||NAKED-FRUITED RUSH||G4||S?||SC|
|ALLIUM CERNUUM||NODDING ONION||G5||S?||SC|
|TRILLIUM DISCOLOR||FADED TRILLIUM||G3||S?||SC|
|XEROPHYLLUM ASPHODELOIDES||EASTERN TURKEYBEARD||G4||S1||SC|
|GALEARIS SPECTABILIS||SHOWY ORCHIS||G5||S?||SC|
|PLATANTHERA LACERA||GREEN-FRINGE ORCHIS||G5||S1||SC|
|TRIPHORA TRIANTHOPHORA||NODDING POGONIA||G4||S2||SC|
|ASPLENIUM MONANTHES||SINGLE-SORUS SPLEENWORT||G4||S1||RC|
|ASPLENIUM PINNATIFIDUM||LOBED SPLEENWORT||G4||S1||SC|
|ASPLENIUM RHIZOPHYLLUM||WALKING-FERN SPLEENWORT||G5||S2||SC|
|ASPLENIUM TRICHOMANES||MAIDENHAIR SPLEENWORT||G5||S?||SC|
|CYSTOPTERIS PROTRUSA||LOWLAND BRITTLE FERN||G5||S?||SC|
|DRYOPTERIS INTERMEDIA||EVERGREEN WOODFERN||G5||S?||SC|
|TRICHOMANES PETERSII||DWARF FILMY-FERN||G4G5||S2||RC|
|LYGODIUM PALMATUM||CLIMBING FERN||G4||S1S2||SC|
GRANK/SRANK - the Nature Conservancy rating of degree of endangerment:
G1 - Critically imperiled globally because of extreme rarity or because of some factor(s) making it especially vulnerable to extinction
G2 - Imperiled globally because of rarity or factor(s) making it vulnerable
G3 - Either very rare throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range, or having factors making it vulnerable
G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it may be rare in parts of its range
G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be rare in parts of its range
GH - Of historical occurrence throughout its range, with possibility of rediscovery
GX - Extinct throughout its range
G? - Status unknown
S1 - Critically imperiled state-wide because of extreme rarity or because of some factor(s) making it especially vulnerable to extirpation
S2 - Imperiled state-wide because of rarity or factor(s) making it vulnerable
S3 - Rare or uncommon in state
S4 - Apparently secure in state
S5 - Demonstrably secure in state
SA - Accidental in state (usually birds or butterflies that are far outside normal range)
SE - Exotic established in state
SH - Of historical occurrence in state, with possibility of rediscovery
SN - Regularly occurring in state, but in a migratory, non-breeding form
SR - Reported in state, but without good documentation
SX - Extirpated from state
S? - Status unknown
STATUS - legal status:
FE - Federal Endangered
FT - Federal Threatened
NC - Of Concern, National (unofficial - plants only)
RC - Of Concern, Regional (unofficial - plants only)
SE - State Endangerd (official state list - animals only)
ST - State Threatened (official state list - animals only)
SC - Of Concern, State
SX - State Extirpated
PE/PT/C - Proposed or candidate for federal listing
All information is based on the existing S.C. Heritage Trust database, and we do not
assume that it is complete. Areas not yet inventoried by our biologists may contain
significant species or communities. Also, our data are always in need of updating because
as natural populations change over time, species must be added, dropped, or reclassified.
Table A-6. Bear Bait Station and Hard and Soft Mast Survey Results on Jocassee Gorges.
Table A-7. Road Access Schedule for Jocassee Gorges.
Road/Gate Opening Date Closing Date
Horsepasture Road September 15 January 2
March 27 May 2
*Standing Rock September 15 January 2
March 27 May 2
Camp Adger September 15 January 2
March 27 May 2
Cane Creek September 15 January 2
March 27 May 2
Tater Hill September 15 March 2
March 27 May 2
Musterground September 15 January 2
March 27 May 2
Old Horsepasture Road Will be made available when road construction is complete.
October 1 January 2
* Note - Portions of the Standing Rock Road (Jackies Ridge Area) will be closed pending renovation, or relocation of Laurel Fork Road.
Table A-8. Jocassee Gorges Budget Related Needs for the First Three Years of SCDNR Ownership.
Projected Number of Personnel:
2 - Technicians w/ Deputy Law Enforcrment Commissions - conduct roads maintenance
2 - Summer Interns
1 - Law Enforcement Conservation Officer
Infrared Aerial Maps
1 Ford Tractor(4x4 w/cab)
Personnel Uniform Allowance
New and Replacements Gates
Motorola Walkie Talkie
1 4x4 Truck (may have to get one from stix compound initially)
Informational Signs and Brochures
Operational Management Cost
Trail and Camp Site Establishment
Survey and Inventory
Road Repair and Maintenance
Horsepasture/Cane Creek 9miles
Horsepasture Rd. Main Rd. 11miles
Projected Personnel Needs
2 Summer Interns
Equipment Shed/Office(Webb Center Type)
Personnel Uniform Allowance
Motorola Walkie Talkie
Table A-8. Continued.
1 Ford Tractor(4x4 w/cab)
1 Caterpillar Motorgrader (Cat. 120)
Signs & Brochures
Operational Management Cost
Trails and Camp Establishment
Survey and Inventory
Road Repair & Maintenance
Road Repairs and Maintenance
Road Name Mileage
Camp Adger 8 miles
Remainder of Horsepasture 5 miles
Morton Rock 4 miles
Standing Rock 10 miles
Annual Road Maintenance
Projected Personnel Needs
2 Summer Intern
1 Conservation Officer
1 Wildlife Biologist
1 Part Time Clerk
Hydro Seeder (pull type)
Projected Operating and Maintenance
Signs & Brochures
Operational Management Cost
Trails and Camp Site Maintenance
Survey and Inventory
Figure B-1. Map of Jocassee Gorges Project Lands.
Figure B-2. Map of Public Access Areas and Facilities on Jocassee Gorges.
...All-terrain vehicle; "four-wheeler;" generally not licensed to operate on a public road.
Blue Ridge Escarpment...A narrow band of mountainous country separating the Blue Ridge Mountains from the Piedmont, featuring many narrow ridges, steep gorges, and rock cliffs.
BMPs...Best Management Practices: A set of management guidelines used to minimize the adverse impacts of forest based activities.
Coldwater Stream...A mountain stream with water cold enough to support a trout fishery.
DEC...Duke Energy Corporation; formerly Duke Power Company.
Early Successional Habitat...An area with mostly sapling-size trees, usually having dense shrub cover.
Endemic Species...A plant or animal species found only in a small area, typically no bigger than one or two counties.
Even-aged Management...A forest management system featuring clearcutting most or all of a stand of trees and subsequent treatment of the site, so that the trees in the new growth are all approximately the same age.
Headwater Stream...The smallest tributary streams in a watershed, generally rising on the steepest, highest slopes.
Mast...The fruits of trees, shrubs, and ground cover plants preferred as food by wildlife, such as acorns (hard mast) and berries (soft mast).
Neotropical Migratory Songbird...Songbirds which migrate to Central or South America for the winter and return to North America for the summer.
OHV...Off-highway vehicle; generally a jeep, pickup truck or sport utility vehicle with four-wheel drive.
Regeneration...Replacement of trees either by natural processes or by planting.
Riparian Zone...The band of vegetation immediately adjacent to a stream, important to shading and keeping sediment out of the stream.
RV...Recreational Vehicle: A pickup truck or trailer outfitted with facilities for sleeping, preparation of food, and other camping activities.
SCDNR...The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Uneven-aged Management...A forest management system which involves cutting some trees in a stand and leaving others, so that the remaining trees and new growth are of two or more different ages.
Viewshed...The portion of the surrounding landscape visible from a certain point on the ground, generally a high point with a relatively long view.
Daniel M. Rankin
Tom Kohlsaat, Chief
|Val Nash, Chief Freshwater Fisheries|
|John Frampton, Chief Wildlife Management|
W. Brock Conrad, Jr., Deputy Director
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Paul A. Sandifer, Ph.D., Director
SC Department of Natural Resources
George C. Graham, D.D.S., Chairman
SC Department of Natural Resources Board