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Deadline extended on WNF project

Due to partial federal government shutdown

NELSONVILLE — Due to lapse in federal funding which caused a partial government shutdown, The Wayne National Forest will be extending the deadline for public feedback on The Sunny Oaks Project on the Ironton Ranger District.

The 30-day comment period for the project to promote oak and hickory forests in the Ironton Ranger District was originally set to end on Jan. 14. However, because of the partial government shutdown the comment period will be extended past the end of the shutdown. Until the shutdown is over, an end date for the comment period cannot be announced.

“I understand that some people may have been concerned or uncertain about what to do in this circumstance,” said Jon Kazmierski, acting WNF forest supervisor. “As soon as we have more information we will share it with the public.”

The project is located east of State Route 93, west of State Route 141, north of the community of Aid and south of the community of Oak Hill. The project area is located in parts of Jackson, Gallia, and Lawrence Counties.

The Sunny Oaks Project would promote growth of oak and hickory forest regeneration through a mix of clearcut and shelterwood harvests. Included in the proposal is prescribed fire, manual girdling/felling of competing trees, and herbicide treatment of competing trees.

Prescribed fire would occur on 2,000-4,000 acres per year across the 25,000-acre project area. Natural re-growth could be supplemented with planted trees.

The state goal of the project is to create a young brushy forest that provides valuable cover and food for a great variety of wildlife species, such as the blue-winged warbler, eastern box turtle, woodcock, bobwhite quail, ruffed grouse, black bear, eastern cottontail, red fox, timber rattlesnakes, and various pollinator species.

Under the proposal, plant species, such as Carolina thistle, wild pea, pale beardtongue, fern-leaf false foxglove, plain gentian, small white snakeroot, Sampson’s snakeroot, and white fringetree would also benefit.

Information about this and other projects being developed and analyzed can be found online at the Wayne National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/wayne/landmanagement/projects .

For more information about the Wayne National Forest, visit their website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/wayne. Follow us on Twitter: @waynenationalfs and Facebook.