(a) Designation and purposes
For the purposes of protecting and enhancing the natural beauty, special ecological features, watershed integrity, mature-forest habitat, scenic recreation opportunities and other distinctive values of certain lands in Georgia, the lands in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Georgia, which comprise approximately 7,100 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled “Coosa Bald Scenic Area—Proposed”, dated July 1991, are designated as a national scenic area and shall be known as the Coosa Bald National Scenic Area (hereafter in this section referred to as the “scenic area”).
(1) Subject to valid existing rights, the Secretary shall administer the scenic area in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations applicable to the National Forest System in such a way as to further the purposes of this section.
(2) The Secretary may permit additional road construction in the scenic area in furtherance of the purposes for which the scenic area is established. Except as provided in this section, the Secretary may not conduct timber harvesting in the scenic area. The Secretary may remove timber in the scenic area in furtherance of this section, but only in a manner which does not impair the purposes for which the scenic area is established. Salvage or sanitation harvesting of timber stands which are substantially damaged by fire, windthrow or other catastrophe, or are in imminent danger from insect or disease attack, is authorized to maintain forest health. Timber harvesting is authorized to provide for visitor safety.
(3) By virtue of this designation alone, the Secretary need not change patterns of public access or closure on existing permanent national forest development roads. At his discretion, however, the Secretary may open or close such existing roads for public use for reasons of sound resource management.
(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent the completion of existing timber sales under contract.
(5) The scenic area is hereby withdrawn from the operation of all laws pertaining to mineral leasing.
(6) The Secretary may also permit, in his discretion, the continued maintenance of existing wildlife openings, in cooperation with the State of Georgia and other Federal, State, and private cooperators, and may permit new wildlife openings in furtherance of the purposes for which the scenic area is established.
(7) The Secretary shall protect, enhance, and promote the public’s opportunities for primitive and semiprimitive experiences in the scenic area.
(Pub. L. 102–217, § 3, Dec. 11, 1991, 105 Stat. 1667.)