For immediate release, February 22, 2006
Two additional sets of local elected officials, the county boards of commissioners in Cherokee County, N.C., and Lumpkin County, Ga., have voted to oppose construction of the Interstate 3 corridor in Southern Appalachia.
The Lumpkin resolution, adopted unanimously Feb. 16, opposes the proposed interstate regional highway so long as any portion of the highway passes through north Georgia.
The Cherokee commissioners unanimously passed a motion on Monday, Feb. 20 opposing Interstate 3 and will instruct the county attorney to draft a formal resolution.
Cherokee thus becomes the third county in Western North Carolina, and Lumpkin the fifth county in north Georgia, to formally come out against a route that would cut a wide swath through Southern Appalachia on its way from Savannah to Knoxville, via Augusta.
Macon and Clay counties in North Carolina and Habersham, Rabun, White and Towns counties in Georgia have previously adopted similar resolutions (details of which are all contained on The Stop I-3 Coalitions website at www.StopI-3.org.)
“These latest actions are clearly indicative of the sweep of growing momentum against this ruinous interstate.”, said Elizabeth Wells, Chairperson of the Stop I-3 Coalition. “We have repeatedly been told by Congressman Norwood, Isakson and Chambliss, sponsors of I-3 construction, that if we do not want this road it will not happen. Are they listening to their constituency? Will they honor their word?
“It is unfortunate indeed when our elected officials refuse to speak with us as has been the case with these three gentlemen. Are they going to insist on the official study, now getting underway, being as closed as they have been to public participation? If so, we have a prime example of democracy at risk. The people are speaking. Who is going to listen?” Wells added.
The coalition represents a growing confederation of community
organizations and conservation groups located in the four-state Appalachian region. It is dedicated to stopping an unneeded highway that it believes would do irreparable harm to mountain economies, forests, farms, and streams, and to rural qualities of life rooted in a strong sense of place.
Elizabeth Wells, (706) 878-2030
Joe Gatins, (706) 782-9944