Wayne National Forest Proposes Project to Reestablish Native Hardwoods

Contact(s): Dawn McCarthy, Public Affairs Officer


NELSONVILLE, Ohio (Feb. 21, 2020) – The Wayne National Forest’s Athens Ranger District is seeking public feedback by March 23, 2020, on a proposal that is intended to convert planted pine to young native hardwood forest. 

If approved, the Marietta-Athens Pine Project proposal would authorize the harvest of about 3,050 acres of planted pine to encourage the reestablishment of native hardwood trees. The forest that regrows would be a mix of trees native to the area; they will create young, brushy forest to provide a diverse wildlife habitat. Natural regrowth could be supplemented with planted trees.

“The wildlife in Southeast Ohio is adapted to hardwood forests. Dense pine plantations with only one species of tree don’t provide our native wildlife with the food and habitat they need,” said Athens District Ranger Jason Reed.

The areas under consideration are located in Athens, Hocking, Monroe, Perry, and Washington Counties on the Athens Ranger District of the Wayne National Forest.

This proposal includes some timber harvests that would create temporary clearings greater than 40 acres. The National Forest Management Act (36 CFR 219) allows temporary clearings greater than 40 acres, provided that the public is given 60 days’ notice and the Regional Forester reviews the proposal. These larger harvests are proposed in order to facilitate the removal and replacement of pine plantations with native hardwoods. 

Because the Marietta-Athens Pine Project fits within a Categorical Exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (36 CFR 220), this 30-day scoping period may be the only designated opportunity to comment on the project.

Public comments can be made to Dan Giannamore at Wayne National Forest, 13700 U.S. Hwy 33, Nelsonville, Ohio 45764, by March 23, 2020, specifically stating that they are in reference to the scoping period for the Marietta-Athens Pine Project. Comments should directly relate the proposed action to a resource impact. Include your name, current physical mailing address, phone number, and signature. 

You may also call to discuss this project at (740) 753-0101 during normal business hours (M - F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or submit comments electronically to comments-eastern-wayne-athens@fs.fed.us.

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





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