Ratings

Section: Ecosystem Health | Rating: Worsening
Inadequate resources are available to curtail the spread of invasive non-native species throughout the region.
Section: Ecosystem Health | Rating: Uncertain
Recent events suggest fire, drought, and severe storms could play a greater role in the future condition of the region’s forests.
Section: Ecosystem Health | Rating: Uncertain
Recent events suggest fire, drought, and severe storms could play a greater role in the future condition of the region’s forests.
Section: Ecosystem Health | Rating: Uncertain
Climate change is of global concern, and impacts to regions such as western North Carolina will be highly variable. By looking at the range of possibilities, we can begin to plan for the future of our forests in order to maximize sustainability.
Section: Ecosystem Health | Rating:
Section: Ecosystem Health | Rating:
Section: Carbon Cycle | Rating: Stable
The forests of Western North Carolina currently represent a significant carbon pool, but in the future, carbon losses will almost certainly outpace carbon gains.
Section: Carbon Cycle | Rating: Uncertain
An ‘avoided deforestation’ carbon offset market in WNC may not be competitive with offsets that offer higher carbon sequestration capability, however, conservation of its existing carbon pool will have significant public benefits.
Section: Soil Water and Air | Rating:
Section: Soil Water and Air | Rating: Improving
Water quality has improved in many rivers and streams which were historically polluted. However, habitat degradation continues to threaten aquatic communities. Increased development and urbanization, poorly managed crop and animal agriculture, and mining impact aquatic systems with point and nonpoint source inputs. Dams and impoundments on rivers and tributaries alter the hydrologic regime of waterways and result in fish population isolation and habitat alteration.

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