Southern Appalachian RC&D FAC CoalitionMaking things happen for the Appalachian Mountains
Southern Appalachian RC&D Fire Adapted Communities Coalition
Challenged by USFS Region 8 Forester Tony Tooke to spread our successful FAC project from Towns County up the Appalachian Mountains through North Carolina to Virginia, the Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D Council held organization meetings on May , 2016 and June 8, 2016. Partnering with SWNC RC&D in Waynesville NC, Mountain & Valleys RC&D in Marshall NC, Blue Ridge RC&D in Spruce Pine NC, Carolina Land & Lakes RC&D in Newton NC and Mountain Valleys RC&D in Wytheville VA, with the Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D as the administrator, this project will be the very first of its kind in the entire country.
The anticipated success and effectiveness of this project will undoubtedly lead to a drop in wildfire calls like that of Towns County GA. In 2014, Towns County had a relatively small amount with a total of 6 fires while the other counties in their local GFC district were remarkably higher. Fannin County had the most with 58 fires, Union County had almost half that with 33. Both of these counties currently do not have FAC or Firewise programs in place. In 2015 the numbers were better with Fannin and Union counties both having a total of 11 fires while Towns County had 1. The numbers speak for themselves and can be replicated in communities up the Appalachian Chain with the development of the Southern Appalachian RC&D Coalition spreading the FAC message through its grassroots network of local citizens using the Fire Learning Network concept that is built around people passing successes to the friends and neighbors who will then continue passing it on to others.
Fire Adapted Communities is not a program with a sign, plaque, or proclamation, but is a never ending process or way of life that must be passed onto future generations in order to keep the communities safe from an out-of-control wildfire that will change the face of a community forever.