Forest Service plans path forward for fiberoptic line projects, seeks public comment

Release Date: Jan 28, 2022

Contact(s): Rebecca Robbins (540) 492-1901


Roanoke, Va. January 28, 2022—The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are asking for public comments on a proposed project to permit fiberoptic telecommunication lines across National Forest System lands. This project is proposed in response to requests from multiple companies that need to install or upgrade telecommunication lines to provide broadband service to rural communities.

“The Forest Service manages land to accommodate multiple uses, including supporting the installation of broadband in rural communities” says Joby Timm, Forest Supervisor. “Because the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests run the length of Virginia from north to south, long, linear utilities inevitably require access across National Forest System lands.”

Under the proposed project, current and future fiberoptic telecommunication proposals would be eligible for a permit if the proposal met specific criteria. These proposals would still be subject to review to ensure natural and cultural resources are protected during project implementation. For more information about this project review the scoping letter available on the project webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=61463

Comments on this proposal may be submitted electronically until February 22, 2022 at https://cara.ecosystem­management.org/Public/Commentlnput?Project=61463

For your comments to be most helpful, please identify specific issues or concerns related to the project that need to be addressed. Comments will be used to prepare a draft Environmental Analysis.

For more information about the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest visit our website www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj, or follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF.

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