United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of protected and managed federal lands in the United States. National Forests are forest and woodland areas owned collectively by the American people through the federal government, managed by the United States Forest Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture; the National Forest System was created by the Land Revision Act of 1891, signed under the presidency of Benjamin Harrison. It was the result of concerted action by Los Angeles-area businessmen and property owners who were concerned by the harm being done to the watershed of the San Gabriel Mountains by ranchers and miners. Abbot Kinney and forester Theodore Lukens were key spokesmen for the effort. In the United States there are 155 National Forests containing 190 million acres of land; these lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States, an area about the size of Texas. Some 87 percent of National Forest land lies west of the Mississippi River in the mountain ranges of the Western United States.
Alaska has 12 percent of all National Forest lands. The U. S. Forest Service manages all of the United States National Grasslands, around half of the United States National Recreation Areas. There are two distinctly different types of forests within the National Forest system; those east of the Great Plains in the Midwestern and Eastern United States were acquired by the federal government since 1891, may be second growth forests. The land had long been in the private domain and sometimes logged since colonial times, but was purchased by the United States government in order to create new National Forests; those west of the Great Plains in the Western United States, though established since 1891, are on lands with ownership maintained by the federal government since the U. S. acquisition and settling of the American West. These are lands that were kept in the public domain, with the exception of inholdings and donated or exchanged private forest lands. Land management of these areas focuses on conservation, timber harvesting, livestock grazing, watershed protection and recreation.
Unlike national parks and other federal lands managed by the National Park Service, extraction of natural resources from national forests is permitted, in many cases encouraged. However, the first-designated wilderness areas, some of the largest, are on National Forest lands. There are management decision conflicts between conservationists and environmentalists, natural resource extraction companies and lobbies, over the protection and/or use of National Forest lands; these conflicts center on endangered species protection, logging of old-growth forests, intensive clear cut logging, undervalued stumpage fees, mining operations and mining claim laws, logging/mining access road-building within National Forests. Additional conflicts arise from concerns that the grasslands and forest understory are grazed by sheep, and, more rising numbers of elk and mule deer due to loss of predators. Many ski resorts and summer resorts operate on leased land in National Forests. List of U. S. National Forests United States National Grassland National Forests of the United States topics State forest National Forest Management Act of 1976 Protected areas of the United States USDA Forest Service USDA Forest Service - The First Century 100 Years of Federal Forestry
Wayah Bald is a high-altitude treeless open area in Nantahala National Forest, near Franklin, North Carolina. The Wayah Bald Observation Tower is located at the area's highest point; the Appalachian Trail and Bartram Trail cross at Wayah Bald. Wayah Bald is a popular destination for hikers during spring, when the rhododendron and azaleas are in bloom. Wayah Bald received its name from the Cherokee natives, it was the Cherokee word for wolf, after the red wolves that once inhabited the area. Spear points found on the bald indicate that indigenous people used the area as hunting grounds more than eleven thousand years ago. In 2009, the Forest Service will work to restore the north face of the Tower using about $75,000; the tower's north wall is breaking down and the stones will be removed and new concrete will be used to repair the wall and reset the stones. Media related to Wayah Bald at Wikimedia Commons
Highlands, North Carolina
Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U. S. state of North Carolina. Located on a plateau in the southern Appalachian Mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest, it lies in southeastern Macon County and in southwestern Jackson County, in the Highlands and Cashiers Townships, respectively; the permanent population was 924 at the 2010 census. Highlands was founded in 1875 after its two founders, Samuel Truman Kelsey and Clinton Carter Hutchinson, drew lines from Chicago to Savannah and from New Orleans to New York City, they felt that the place where these lines met would become a great trading center and commercial crossroads. Highlands was named for its lofty elevation. In the 1930s the town became a golfing mecca when Bobby Jones of Atlanta and some of his well-heeled golfing buddies founded the Highlands Country Club. Today that club is one of seven successful residential country club communities in the area; the Highlands Country Club is south of Highlands on Dillard Road.
Highlands is located at 35°3′15″N 83°12′8″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 6.2 square miles, of which 6.1 square miles is land and 0.1 square miles, or 1.94%, is water. The official average elevation within town limits is 4,118 feet, making it one of the highest incorporated municipalities east of the Mississippi River; the annual rainfall approaches 100 inches due to the orographic lifting effect of storms coming from the lower elevations. This rainfall, coupled with abundant sunshine, creates a lush and verdant microclimate which appeals to botanists. Highlands has a subtropical highland climate, with much cooler weather than the rest of the American South; this cooling is caused by its altitude. Astride the Eastern Continental Divide, at just over 4,100 ft, the town's elevation contributes to its cool summers and abundant rainfall, averaging 87.57 inches per year. Average snowfall is only 13 inches due to the fact that Highlands is further south and east in the Appalachian Mountains.
In 2013 Highlands received 106 inches of rainfall. Areas of similar elevation on the northwest side of Appalachian region, such as Banner Elk, are not as protected from periodic blasts of Arctic air and receive more substantial snowfall. Regardless, Highlands is one of the rare locations at this latitude that has an average high of 78 °F or 26 °C in July, far lower than the rest of the American South. Highlands is becoming more a two-season community; the summer season draws large numbers of Southerners from the oppressive summertime heat and humidity found throughout much of the region to enjoy the beautiful mountains, cool days, fine dining, hometown Main Street experience. More and more the town is increasing its winter season draw through its offering of arts, culinary and romantic events; the town is dotted with many antique dealers, a well-known auction house, restaurants and inns, as well as several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. For the performing arts there are four theaters: The Highlands Playhouse, the Instant Theatre Company, the Highlands Community Players, the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center, which hosts touring groups.
For the visual arts there is The Bascom - A Center for the Visual Arts, a new facility named for the artist and playwright, Louise Rand Bascom Barratt. The historic Lee's Inn, with an enormous tree growing through the middle of its dining room, was lost to an electrical fire in the 1980s and was not rebuilt; the historic Old Edwards Inn continues to operate as an spa catering to the affluent. The Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center is a prominent venue in Highlands, featuring independent theater and local musical acts; when the building, the Community Bible Church, went up for sale in 1999, the founding director of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival started a fundraising campaign to buy the property so that the festival could have a permanent home. Since the Performing Arts Center has brought over 255 performances to the southeastern Macon County area. There is one public school in the town, Highlands School, as well as a public library, known as the Hudson Library; the Hudson Library is part of the Fontana Regional Library, which serves Swain and Macon counties.
The Hudson Library housed The Bascom until May 2009. Highlands has Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. Highlands has a post office, with ZIP code 28741 covering all of Highlands township and adjacent parts of Sugar Fork township, it is within area code 828, all telephone numbers served by the town's exchange begin with 526 or 482, with seven-digit dialing allowed. Since buying GTE, Verizon is now the telephone company for the area, it offers DSL high-speed Internet. Cable television and Internet services for the town of Highlands are contracted to Northland Communications Corporation and Highlands Cable Group. Both systems carry local TV stations from the Asheville/Hendersonville and Greenville/Spartanburg areas. Additionally, because there are many visitors and residents from metro Atlanta, Northland carries two major-TV network stations from Atlanta: WSB-TV 2, WAGA TV 5. Highlands Cable Group now carries all the local networks a
The Hiwassee River has its headwaters on the north slope of Rocky Mountain in Towns County in the northern State of Georgia and flows northward into North Carolina before turning westward into Tennessee, flowing into the Tennessee River a few miles west of State Route 58 in Meigs County, Tennessee. The river is about 147 miles long; the river is dammed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in four locations, all in western North Carolina. Chatuge Dam, Mission Dam, Hiwassee Dam, Apalachia Dam. Water is diverted from the stream bed at Apalachia Dam and sent through a pipeline, tunneled through the mountains for eight miles flows through the Apalachia Powerhouse to generate electricity; the stretch of the river that flows between Apalachia Dam and Apalachia Powerhouse features reduced flow and is followed by the John Muir Trail in Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest. The 23-mile stretch of river that flows from the North Carolina/Tennessee state line to U. S. Highway 411 near Delano is designated a State Scenic River and for recreational purposes is managed by the state Resource Management Division, in cooperation with TVA.
The river features Class I depending on water levels. After exiting the mountains through a gorge, the Hiwassee flows under US-411 and broadens, meandering through rural Polk and Bradley counties; the river crosses under U. S. Route 11 at Calhoun and Charleston, where local industries such as Bowater Newsprint Mill and Arch/Olin Chemical use river water in their operations. At this point the river interfaces with the impoundment of Chickamauga Dam, many marshes and wetlands surround the main channel, providing areas for hunting and fishing; the Hiwassee passes under Interstate 75 on the border of Bradley counties. The Hiwassee continues westward to pass under TN-58's historic, narrow, bridge on its way to the confluence with the Tennessee River; this area of the river is enjoyed by boaters and water skiers. Major tributaries include Valley River, Nottely River, Coker Creek, Big Lost Creek, Spring Creek, Conasauga Creek, Toccoa/Ocoee River; the Hiwassee River has been known by many variant spellings.
The best-known of these is Hiawassee, the name of the Georgia town through which the river flows. Other alternate spellings include Heia Wassea and Highwassee, some less obvious related names include Eufasee, Eufassee and Quannessee; some Cherokee say the name came from the Cherokee word Ayuhwasi, which means a savanna. The Muskogee say the river's name is the Koasati and Hitchiti, Creek language words for the copperhead snake; the river is known for its many copperheads today. Various Muskogean-speaking ethnic groups occupied the region for many centuries before the arrival of the Cherokee. Tribes related to them include the Creek, Choctaw and Seminole; some historians thought that because the Europeans had encountered the Cherokee in the Hiwassee Valley in the 18th century, the latter people had occupied the territory for a much longer period, but this is not the case. Their language is Iroquoian and they are believed to have migrated at an earlier time from south of the Great Lakes region, where several other Iroquoian tribes have been based, including the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee.
Spanish explorers visited the region in the 16th century. Hernando de Soto crossed the Hiwassee River near its confluence with the Tennessee River at Hiwassee Island, in the spring of 1541 AD. Juan Pardo followed a trail that paralleled the river in 1567 AD. All town names and indigenous words that were recorded by de Soto's chroniclers in present-day Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, can be translated by contemporary Muskogean dictionaries. Most of the words are of the Koasati and Hitchiti languages, but a few are Muskogean and Alabama words. None of the words are Cherokee; the earliest European maps from the 17th century vaguely show the Hiwassee River Basin occupied by a mountain branch of the Apalachee and the Kusa. The Kusa were one of the ancestral branches of the "Upper Creek"; the Tama-tli of the Altamaha River Basin in southeastern Georgia are known to have had a colony in the valley between Andrews, North Carolina and the Hiwassee River at Murphy, North Carolina. The initial contacts by English explorers and traders in the 1690s found most of the river valley occupied by Muskogean and Yuchi towns.
Cherokee villages were north of the river at this time. In 1714, two traders in South Carolina supplied the Cherokee with firearms and directed them to attack the Yuchi villages on the Hiwassee River. Most of the men in one Yuchi town were gone. Not having firearms, the remaining Yuchi were massacred. In 1715, the Cherokee invited the leaders of the many Muskogean provinces that would comprise the Creek Confederacy to a diplomatic conference at Tugaloo at the headwaters of the Savannah River, they murdered the Muskogean leaders in their sleep. This precipitated a 40-year-long war between the Cherokee. Due to disunity among the Creek, the Cherokee were able to occupy the northeastern tip of what is now Georgia, but was part of South Carolina, they drove the Yuchi from most of North Carolina west and south of the Hiwassee. Most of the branches of the Creek lost interest in this war after a few years; the Hiwassee River and its tributaries were part of Cherokee territory in the early 18th century. A town known as "Hiwassee" was located near the mou
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the U. S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres. Major divisions of the agency include the National Forest System and Private Forestry, Business Operations, the Research and Development branch. Managing 25% of federal lands, it is the only major national land agency, outside the U. S. Department of the Interior; the concept of the National Forests was born from Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation group and Crockett Club, due to concerns regarding Yellowstone National Park beginning as early as 1875. In 1876, Congress formed the office of Special Agent in the Department of Agriculture to assess the quality and conditions of forests in the United States. Franklin B. Hough was appointed the head of the office. In 1881, the office was expanded into the newly formed Division of Forestry; the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorized withdrawing land from the public domain as "forest reserves," managed by the Department of the Interior.
In 1901, the Division of Forestry was renamed the Bureau of Forestry. The Transfer Act of 1905 transferred the management of forest reserves from the General Land Office of the Interior Department to the Bureau of Forestry, henceforth known as the United States Forest Service. Gifford Pinchot was the first United States Chief Forester in the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Significant federal legislation affecting the Forest Service includes the Weeks Act of 1911, the Multiple Use – Sustained Yield Act of 1960, P. L. 86-517. L. 88-577. L. 94-588. L. 91-190. L. 95-313. L. 95-307. In February 2009, the Government Accountability Office evaluated whether the Forest Service should be moved from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior, which includes the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, managing some 438,000,000 acres of public land; as of 2009, the Forest Service has a total budget authority of $5.5 billion, of which 42% is spent fighting fires.
The Forest Service employs 34,250 employees in 750 locations, including 10,050 firefighters, 737 law enforcement personnel, 500 scientists. The mission of the Forest Service is "To sustain the health and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations." Its motto is "Caring for the land and serving people." As the lead federal agency in natural resource conservation, the US Forest Service provides leadership in the protection and use of the nation's forest and aquatic ecosystems. The agency's ecosystem approach to management integrates ecological and social factors to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment to meet current and future needs. Through implementation of land and resource management plans, the agency ensures sustainable ecosystems by restoring and maintaining species diversity and ecological productivity that helps provide recreation, timber, fish, wildlife and aesthetic values for current and future generations of people.
The everyday work of the Forest Service balances resource extraction, resource protection, providing recreation. The work includes managing 193,000,000 acres of national forest and grasslands, including 59,000,000 acres of roadless areas. Further, the Forest Service fought fires on 2,996,000 acres of land in 2007; the Forest Service organization includes ranger districts, national forests, research stations and research work units and the Northeastern Area Office for State and Private Forestry. Each level has responsibility for a variety of functions; the Chief of the Forest Service is a career federal employee. The Chief reports to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the U. S. Department of Agriculture, an appointee of the President confirmed by the Senate; the Chief's staff provides broad policy and direction for the agency, works with the Administration to develop a budget to submit to Congress, provides information to Congress on accomplishments, monitors activities of the agency.
There are five deputy chiefs for the following areas: National Forest System and Private Forestry and Development, Business Operations, Finance. The Forest Service Research and Development deputy area includes five research stations, the Forest Products Laboratory, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, in Puerto Rico. Station directors, like regional foresters, report to the Chief. Research stations include Northern, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Rocky Mountain, Southern. There are 92 research work units located at 67 sites throughout the United States. There are 80 Experimental Forests and Ranges that have been established progressively since 1908; the system provides places for long-term science and management studies in major vegetation types of the 195 million acres of public land administered by the Forest Service. Individual sites range from 47 to 22,500 ha in size. Operations of Experimental Forests and Ranges are directed by local research teams for the individual sites, by Research Stations for the regions in which they are located, at the level of the Forest Service.
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The Appalachian National Scenic Trail known as the Appalachian Trail or the A. T. is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is about 2,200 miles long, though the exact length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted; the Appalachian Trail Conservancy describes the Appalachian Trail as the longest hiking-only trail in the world. More than 2 million people are said to take a hike on part of the trail at least once each year; the idea of the Appalachian Trail came about in 1921. The trail itself was completed in 1937 after more than a decade of work, although improvements and changes continue, it is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships, managed by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Most of the trail is in forest or wild lands, although some portions traverse towns and farms, it passes through 14 states: Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine.
Thru-hikers attempt to hike the trail in its entirety in a single season. The number of thru-hikes per year has increased with 715 northbound and 133 southbound thru-hikes reported for 2017. Many books, documentaries and fan organizations are dedicated to the pursuit; some hike from one end to the other turn around and thru-hike the trail the other way, known as a "yo-yo". An extension known as the International Appalachian Trail continues northeast, crossing Maine and cutting through Canada to Newfoundland, with sections continuing in Greenland, through Europe, into Morocco. Other separate extensions continue the southern end of the Appalachian range in Alabama and continue south into Florida, creating what is known as the Eastern Continental Trail; the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail form what is known as the Triple Crown of Hiking in the United States. The trail was conceived by Benton MacKaye, a forester who wrote his original plan—called "An Appalachian Trail, A Project in Regional Planning"—shortly after the death of his wife in 1921.
MacKaye's idea detailed a grand trail that would connect a series of farms and wilderness work/study camps for city-dwellers. In 1922, at the suggestion of Major William A. Welch, director of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, his idea was publicized by Raymond H. Torrey with a story in the New York Evening Post under a full-page banner headline reading "A Great Trail from Maine to Georgia!" The idea was adopted by the new Palisades Interstate Park Trail Conference as their main project. On October 7, 1923, the first section of the trail, from Bear Mountain west through Harriman State Park to Arden, New York, was opened. MacKaye called for a two-day Appalachian Trail conference to be held in March 1925 in Washington, D. C; this meeting inspired the formation of the Appalachian Trail Conference. A retired judge named Arthur Perkins and his younger associate Myron Avery took up the cause. In 1929, a member of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association and its Blue Blazed Trails committee, found Ned Anderson, a farmer in Sherman, who took on the task of mapping and blazing the Connecticut leg of the trail.
It ran from Dog Tail Corners in Webatuck, New York, which borders Kent, Connecticut, at Ashley Falls, 50 miles through the northwest corner of the state, up to Bear Mountain at the Massachusetts border. Anderson's efforts helped spark renewed interest in the trail, Avery was able to bring other states on board. Upon taking over the ATC, Avery adopted the more practical goal of building a simple hiking trail, he and MacKaye clashed over the ATC's response to a major commercial development along the trail's path. Avery reigned as Chairman of the ATC from 1932 to 1952. Avery became the first to walk the trail end-to-end, though not as a thru-hike, in 1936. In August 1937, the trail was completed to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, the ATC shifted its focus toward protecting the trail lands and mapping the trail for hikers. Many of the trail's present highlights were not part of the trail in 1937: Roan Mountain, North Carolina and Tennessee. Except for places where the Civilian Conservation Corps was brought in, the original trail climbed straight up and down mountains, creating rough hiking conditions and a treadway prone to severe erosion.
The ATC's trail crews and volunteer trail-maintaining clubs have relocated or rehabilitated miles of trail since that time. In 1936, a 121-day Maine to Georgia veteran's group funded and supported thru-hike was reported to have been completed, with all but three miles of the new trail cleared and blazed, by six Boy Scouts from New York City and their guides; the completed thru-hike was much recorded and accepted by the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association. In 1938, the trail sustained major damage from a hurricane; this happened right before the start of World War II
The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail is a long-distance trail for hiking and backpacking, that traverses North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. The trail's western endpoint is at Clingman's Dome, where it connects to the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, its eastern endpoint is in Jockey's Ridge State Park on the tallest sand dune on the east coast. The trail is envisioned as a scenic backbone of an interconnected trail system spanning the state; as such, the trail's route attempts to connect as many trail systems and natural scenic areas as practicable. A little over half of the trail is complete in multiple segments across the state; the Mountains-to-Sea State Park Trail was made an official land-based unit of the state park system by the General Assembly on August 2, 2000. Since that time, the State Trail unit has grown to encompass 691 acres in three tracts and 87 acres in conservation easements; each of these tracts is leased to local governments for management as nature parks, under the guidance of the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.
The vast majority of the foot trail is located on lands not directly managed as part of a state park unit. The trail is a part of the North Carolina State Trails Program, a section of NCDPR, as of January 2011, 530 miles of trail has been designated as a part of the MST by NCDPR; the segments of MST along the Blue Ridge Parkway were designated as National Recreation Trail in 2005. The MST has the distinction of being the highest elevation long-distance trail in the eastern United States as it crosses Mount Mitchell at 6,684 feet; the MST incorporates several other notable trails as part of its route. The MST shares several miles of its route with the Appalachian Trail near the MST's western trail-head. Art Loeb Trail The MST follows most of the Tanawha Trail's length; the MST shares most of the Sauratown Trail's route, the only bridle trail that connects two NC state parks and is the longest trail on private owned lands in the state. A recent addition to the trail is the Haw River Trail which begins at Haw River State Park in Guilford and Chatham Counties and continues to Cane Creek in southern Alamance County.
This addition is under review pending appeals and resolution of access issues. The trail follows the Eno River State Park trail system to the Falls Lake Trail, which it follows to the Neuse River Trail; the MST follows the Neuse River Trail for its length. The MST follows the entire length of the Neusiok Trail. Hikers should be aware that the Mountains-To-Sea State Trail does contain camping restrictions across its route. Hikers should research and follow all rules and regulations for camping, as the MST does cross through lands managed by various public and private land agencies & individuals. In the mountain section, starting in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, camping is allowed at permissible campsites with a back-country permit. Please contact the GSMNP back-country office for permit and reservation information. Camping within the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor is prohibited except for permissible parkway campgrounds. In some areas, hikers can cross the BRP boundary lines into the Nantalhala and Pisgah National Forests to camp at well-established campsites.
Planning is being done to create private campsites for the MST on parkway land. On the North Carolina Piedmont section of the MST, camping is not permitted along the Sauratown Trail section since the trail is managed and maintained on land leased from private landowners. A list of nearby campgrounds and lodging is maintained on the Sauratown Trails Association Website. There are three managed campgrounds a short distance off the Sauratown Trail. Camping inside the North Carolina State Parks are only allowed at permissible camping sites and campgrounds. Large sections of the Falls Lake State Recreation Area, neighboring public lands managed by the Army Corps of Engineers prohibit camping. Stealth camping or any illegal camping along the MST is discouraged. Possible citations and fines may be enforced; the MST as a State Trail unit of the state park system encompasses 691 acres of land in three tracts. The NC Division of Parks and Recreation leases each of these tracts to local governments for operation as nature parks.
Shallow Ford Natural Area consists of 191 acres located in Alamance County along the banks of the Haw River, it is managed by the Alamance County Recreation and Parks Department. The natural area has a small, volunteer built trail network, which includes the MST, a few primitive campsites, a canoe access and a picnic area; the natural area was acquired to help fill in a gap in the MST. The Richardson-Taylor Preserve, formally known as the Morton-Richardson Tract, is a new 440-acre nature preserve, jointly acquired by the Guilford County Open Space Program and the State of North Carolina; the preserve was acquired in the Taylor Tract and the Richardson Tract. The 196-acre Taylor Tract was bought by the state park system from the Morton family, who sold Grandfather Mountain to the state; the Richardson Tract was bought by Guilford County using grants from the state. Both tracts are intended to be managed together as a buffer for the Greensboro Watershed and as a corridor for the MST to reach Haw River State Park from the watershed trails.
The Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department manages the preserve with guidance from the Guildford County Open Space Committee