- Natural Background Visibility
- AQRV Type VISIBILITY
- AQRV Type WATER
- Pollutant Exposure Concern Thresholds
- General Information
The Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock Wilderness is made up mainly of the Little Santeetlah and Slickrock Creek watersheds, which are joined by a common ridgeline at their headwaters. These basins are extremely steep and rugged, with elevations ranging from a low of 1,086 feet at the mouth of Slickrock Creek to over 5,300 feet on Stratton Bald. The original wilderness covered 14,033 acres in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Rock outcrops are common, and numerous drainages and cascading streams dissect the terrain. A dense hardwood forest, some of which is old growth, blankets these slopes. The forest is broken only by occasional grass or heath balds along the high ridges. Black bear and wild boar are common to these woods.
The Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock Wilderness has been designated as Class I air quality under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 and recent additions to the wilderness has increased the size to 18,483 acres.
Air Quality Related Values (AQRV)
The high mountain peaks, Haoe and Stratton Bald; rock outcroppings like the Hangover; and the rugged mountains blanketed with hardwood forests make up the wilderness landscape. Viewed from within, the wilderness scene is mainly close-up and comprised of the vegetation, rocks and cascading streams which are so characteristic of this area. Visitors who climb to the higher mountain peaks will experience more long-range views of rugged topography covered with hardwoods. The wilderness scene is also highly valued by those who are outside of the wilderness, but can look out over the majestic landscape.
|Natural Background Visibility|
|Site Specific Rayleigh scattering coefficient:||Clearest 20% Natural||Clearest 20% 2000-2004 Baseline||Haziest 20% Natural||Haziest 20% 2000-2004 Baseline||Average Annual Natural||Annual Average 2000-2004 Baseline|
|Standard Visual Range (km)||263||103||131||19||189||46|
|Haze Index (dv)||4.62||13.58||11.24||30.28||7.73||21.47|
The high-quality mountain streams in the wilderness rush and tumble down the steep terrain over moss-covered rocks and through rhododendron thickets. Cool, clear deep pools in these streams are numbing, even in the hottest part of the summer. Slickrock Creek is a highly productive trout stream which supports an excellent wild brown trout population. The headwaters of Slickrock Creek contain native brook trout prized by fly fishermen, whereas brown and rainbow trout are prominent in the lower reaches. Little Santeetlah Creek and its tributaries are home to brown, brook and rainbow trout. The trout fisheries in these streams represent a major recreation opportunity in the wilderness.
Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock Wilderness is most famous for the impressive old-growth forest found in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. The magnificent trees in this area include tulip poplars that are over 300 years old and some are more than 20 feet in circumference and 100 feet tall. A figure-eight loop trail leads visitors through the cathedral-like Memorial Forest, crossing rustic bridges over cold, clear mountain streams and through thick stands of rhododendron. One feels drawn back to a more primeval time as you pass under the towering hemlocks, white pine and poplars. But, old-growth trees are not restricted to this one portion of the wilderness. Most of the Little Santeetlah drainage, the Joyce Kilmer section of the wilderness, has never been logged and man has done little to alter the landscape. Old growth trees are also found at the higher elevations of the Slickrock Creek drainage.
The great diversity in vegetation typical of the Southern Appalachian Forests is richly illustrated in Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock where there are more than 100 tree species and an abundance of wildflowers. A variety of forest types cover the area: from cove hardwoods such as tulip poplar, buckeye, basswood and cherry on rich, moist sites; to the upland hardwoods (oaks and hickories) found on drier sites. Associated understory species on the dry sites include mountain laurel and blueberry. At higher elevations hemlock, sugar maple, beech and birch are common. An understory of rhododendron covers much of this area. Some of the high and rocky ridges are covered by treeless balds. The balds contain a tick growth of mountain laurel and other shrubs. Hemlock and white pine are typically found along the streams. This variety of vegetation makes the wilderness experience ever-changing as the visitor passes from one slope, aspect and elevation to another.
Resource Concern Thresholds
|AQRV Type: VISIBILITY|
|Sensitive Receptor||Sensitive Receptor Indicator||Thresholds|
|Natural Visibility||Light Extinction||In specific Class I areas to maintain consistency with Regional Haze implementation plans or BART, the visibility threshold for concern is not exceeded if the 98th percentile change in light extinction is <5% for each year modeled, when compared to the 20% best natural background values.|
|Natural Visibility||Light Extinction||For sources generally further than 50 km from a Class I area, the visibility threshold for concern is not exceeded if the 98th percentile change in light extinction is <5% for each year modeled, when compared to the annual average natural condition value for that Class I area.|
|Plume Blight||Absolute Contrast||Screening Analysis: For near field sources (within 50 km of a Class I area), no additional analysis will be requested if screening analysis of a new or modified source can demonstrate that its emissions will not cause a plume with hourly estimates of DeltaE (color difference index) greater than or equal to 2.0 or the absolute value of the contrast greater than or equal to 0.05 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Absolute Contrast||Refined Analysis: No further analysis will likely be requested if a new or modified source can show that impacts from a new or modified source will stay with the threshold of DeltaE <1.0 and |C| <0.02 modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Color Difference Index||Screening Analysis: For near field sources (within 50 km of a Class I area), no additional analysis will be requested If screening analysis of a new or modified source can demonstrate that its emissions will not cause a plume with hourly estimates of DeltaE (color difference index) greater than or equal to 2.0 or the absolute value of the contrast greater than or equal to 0.05 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|Plume Blight||Color Difference Index||Refined Analysis: No further analysis will likely be requested if a new or modified source can show that impacts from a new or modified source will stay with the threshold of DeltaE <1.0 and |C| <0.02 when modeled against natural conditions.|
|AQRV Type: WATER|
|Sensitive Receptor||Sensitive Receptor Indicator||Thresholds|
|Perennial Streams||Acid Neutralizing Capacity||In perennial streams, no more than 0.1 microequivalent/liter measurable decrease in acid neutralizaing capacity is acceptable|
|Perennial Streams||Chronic Acid Neutralizing Capacity||To maintain healthy biological functioning in perennial streams, the chronic acid neutralizing capacity must be >= 25 ueq/l.|
|Perennial Streams||Chronic pH||To maintain healthy biological functioning, the chronic pH of perennial streams must be >= 6.0.|
|Perennial Streams||Episodic Acid Neutralizing Capacity||To maintain healthy biological functioning in perennial streams, the episodic acid neutralizing capacity must be >= 0 ueq/l.|
|Perennial Streams||Episodic pH||To maintain healthy biological functioning, the episodic pH of perennial streams must be >= 5.5.|
|Perennial Streams||pH||In perennial streams, no more than 0.1 measurable decrease in pH is acceptable|
|Pollutant Exposure Concern Thresholds|
|Pollutant Exposures||Level Name||Thresholds|
|Nitrogen||DEPOSITION||Nitrogen deposition may be expected to cause cation leaching in soils when N levels are greater than 12 kg/ha/yr. Below 5 kg/ha/yr, negative effects to soil and vegetation are not expected|
|Nitrogen||EXCEEDANCE||The Deposition Analysis Threshold for nitrogen deposition below which estimated impacts from a source are considered negligible is 0.010. kilograms/hectare/year.|
|Ozone||W126||Biomass reduction of ozone sensitive species may occur when the W126 ozone metric (for April-September) is ≥ 14.5 ppm-hours. This should be evaluated in conjunction with the N100 value.|
|Ozone||N100||Biomass reduction of ozone sensitive species may occur when the number of hours from APRIL-SEPTEMBER with an ozone concentration greater than or equal to 0.100ppm equals or exceeds 4. This should be evaluated in conjunction with the W126 value.|
|Sulfur||DEPOSITION||Sulfur deposition may be expected to cause cation leaching and increased aluminum toxicity in soils when levels are greater than 20 kg/ha/yr. At 5 kg/ha/yr or below, sulfur negative effects to soil and vegetation are not expected.|
|Sulfur||EXCEEDANCE||The Deposition Analysis Threshold for sulfur deposition below which estimated impacts from a source are considered negligible is 0.010 kg/ha/yr.|
|State(s):||North Carolina, Tennessee|
|Forest Service Administrative Unit(s):||Southern Region (Region 8) -- Cherokee National Forest, National Forests in North Carolina|
|Elevation Range:||1,100 - 5,341 feet|
|Detailed wilderness information:||https://www.wilderness.net|
|GIS Map/Official Boundary:||https://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/|