Polk County Board of Commissioners approves resolution to help ensure safety at Bradley Falls

At their Oct. 21 meeting, the Polk County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to help ensure safety at Bradley Falls where there have been multiple hiker deaths and injuries in recent years.

Polk County Local Government is sending the resolution, which was proposed by Vice Chairman Myron Yoder, to Gov. Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to try to get some safety precautions installed at Bradley Falls.

“Polk County Commissioners believe the situation at Bradley Falls needs to be addressed before another citizen or public safety responder is put at risk,” Polk County Manager Marche Pittman said.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners is working with North Carolina governmental agencies to ensure public safety at Bradley Falls.

A signed and approved copy of the resolution, which can be downloaded here, contains the following:

RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE NORTH CAROLINA WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION USE ANY AND ALL MEANS NECESSARY TO ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY AT BRADLEY FALLS
WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina, and Polk County are blessed with a heritage of outdoor activities that have enriched the lives of our residents and travelers from across the country and world; and
WHEREAS, the mission of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is to conserve North Carolina’s wildlife resources and their habitats and provide programs and opportunities that allow outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy wildlife associated recreation; and
WHEREAS, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is the agency entrusted with the management and conservation of North Carolina wildlife sources for the enjoyment of all people; and
WHEREAS, Bradley Falls has been established as one of the 11 State Natural Heritage Areas located wholly or partially on the game lands by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program; and
WHEREAS, in the Green River Game Land Management Plan for 2015-2025 Bradley Falls Trail was determined to be heavily used by hikers to reach the waterfall, they were highlighted as a particular problem, and respondents to a public survey felt the trails could be improved, and expressed specific concerns regarding trail maintenance and requested safety barriers be added at the falls; and
WHEREAS, there have been eight unfortunate or unnecessary deaths and several injuries over the past 15 years resulting from hikers getting too close to the edge and falling, each incident required as many as 50 rescuers to risk their lives in the hope of saving the victim.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Polk County Board of Commissioners requests that the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission use any and all means necessary to ensure the safety of citizens and visitors to the Bradley Falls area.
Adopted this 21st day of October 2019.