Forest Service hosts public meetings to identify important watershed and habitat restoration projects

Contact(s): Michelle Davalos (276) 679-8370

The USDA Forest Service is hosting several public meetings to identify project restoration activities that improve water quality, soil productivity, watershed health, and wildlife and fish habitat and meet local and rural community needs on National Forest lands in Scott, Wise, Dickenson, and Lee counties, Virginia and Letcher and Pike counties, Kentucky.  

The Clinch Ranger District is developing a “stewardship project” proposal.  Stewardship projects allow the Forest Service to work with a partner or contractor to remove timber and use the proceeds from the timber sale to fund restoration projects. Stewardship projects can provide local jobs and economic benefits from the timber sale and from implementing restoration projects.

Please join us at one of the upcoming collaborative meetings to discuss and share your ideas. We will use information from these meetings to draft a stewardship project proposal. 

Big Stone Gap, Virginia, Monday, July 16, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Carnes Gym, 505 E 5th St S
Pound, Virginia, Wednesday, July 18, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM 
Town Hall, 8422 N River Rd
Coeburn, Virginia, Thursday, July 19, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM 
John Vandiver Center, 815 Laurel Ave

For those not able to attend the meetings, please submit your project ideas electronically to (please put “Stewardship Ideas” in the subject line) or through the postal system using the following address:

District Ranger
Clinch Ranger District
Stewardship Ideas
1700 Park Ave SW
Norton, VA 24273

Examples of approved uses of stewardship funds include:

  • Removal of non-native invasive species, like autumn olive;
  • Silviculture and reforestation activities to improve the health and vigor of trees;
  • Wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration projects such as creating or maintaining wildlife openings and establishing pollinator sites;
  • Fuels reduction through prescribed burning or mechanical treatments around communities for fire protection; and
  • Watershed improvement projects such as road and trail stabilization and relocation, stream bank rehabilitation, and culvert improvements.

“I am excited to hear ideas from local community members that could be included in future projects,” states District Ranger Michelle Davalos. “By starting with a clear understanding of community interests, we can focus future projects on activities that will meet both the goals laid out in the Jefferson National Forest Plan and the needs of local communities.” 

Contact the Clinch Ranger District office in Norton, Virginia at (276) 679-8370 for more information.