Forest Service hosts public meeting to continue collaboration on the North Shenandoah Mountain Project

Contact(s): Alicia Embrey

HARRISONBURG, VA - The USDA Forest Service invites you to attend a public meeting to discuss the North Shenandoah Mountain Restoration and Management Project (NSM), Thursday, August 22. The meeting will be, from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Bridgewater Town Hall, 201 Green Street, Bridgewater, Virginia. The district ranger and staff will be on hand to answer questions. Maps and project information will be available.


The draft Environmental Assessment will be available to the public for a 30 day comment period the week of August 12. The NSM project proposal has been collaboratively developed from its inception in 2016 with a total of 3 public meetings and 1 scoping period in November of 2017. The district ranger looks forward to continuing the engagement of interested stakeholders now that the draft analysis for the project proposal has been completed.


The NSM Project proposes landscape-scale restoration and management aimed at improving watershed conditions, restoring habitats for a diversity of terrestrial and aquatic species, increasing resilience in ecological systems, and providing forest products to local economies. The NSM Project would implement the goals and objectives described in the 2014 Revised Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) for the George Washington National Forest (GWNF). The project proposes restoration actions on about 9,430 acres of the approximately 128,000-acre planning area located in Rockingham County, Virginia and Pendleton County, West Virginia.


The use of silvicultural methods including: thinning, regeneration harvest, grassy area enhancement, planting, forest stand improvement, non-native invasive species treatment, and prescribed fire are the primary activities proposed to move the conditions in management area prescriptions 7G and 13 closer to the desired conditions described in the Forest Plan. Creation and maintenance of wildlife clearings, open grasslands, and open savannah and woodlands habitat are parts of the proposal, along with yellow pine and aquatic ecosystems restoration efforts in the form of planting, large woody debris placement, aquatic organism passage restoration, and riparian buffering. The proposal also has transportation components, including limited new system roads, temporary roads, road maintenance, reconstruction, and decommissioning.


You can also learn more about the NSM project by visiting the project page here - .


For additional information, please contact the North River Ranger District offices at (540) 432-0187.