Help protect the last wildlands of the southeastern U.S.

The National Park Service is considering building a new road through 30 miles of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the crown jewels of America's national park system.

We need your immediate help to stop the proposed North Shore Road, which would slice through the heart of NRDC's Cumberland Plateau BioGem and destroy one of the largest pristine wildlands in the eastern United States.

Please go to //www.savebiogems.org/cumberland/takeaction.asp right away and urge the National Park Service to reject the North Shore Road proposal.

At a cost of at least $600 million in taxpayer dollars, the North Shore Road would lay waste to portions of the celebrated Appalachian Trail, as well as vital habitat for black bears, migratory songbirds and other wildlife.

Road construction would pollute local waterways with acidic runoff and heavy metals, contaminating nearby streams with toxic chemicals and killing aquatic life in one of the world's most species-rich watersheds. In fact, much of this area has already been recommended for formal wilderness designation -- and is already managed as wilderness -- by the Park Service.

The Park Service is currently accepting comments on whether to build this ill- conceived road or, instead, offer Swain County, North Carolina, a monetary settlement.

Please go to //www.savebiogems.org/cumberland/takeaction.asp and urge the Park Service to reject the North Shore Road and approve the monetary settlement -- which would benefit local residents, protect the park's thriving wildlife and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Thank you for helping to save the last remaining native forests of the southeastern United States.

Sincerely,

Frances Beinecke
President Natural Resources Defense Council

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