U.S. Forest Service to hold virtual meeting for proposed Cranberry-Spring Creek project

Webster

Highland Scenic Highway

RICHWOOD, W.Va. – The public is invited to participate in a virtual scoping meeting Thursday, May 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., to learn about the proposed Cranberry-Spring Creek project on Monongahela National Forest’s Gauley Ranger District. This project is in the beginning stages of development.

The project area is in Nicholas, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, and Webster counties, and includes well-known features like the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center, Falls of Hills Creek Scenic Area, and a section of the Highland Scenic Highway. This is the first project the Gauley District has developed as a part of the Forest’s order of entry strategy, which looks at fifth level watersheds holistically on a pre-determined schedule.

“This is a unique opportunity to look at the watershed as a whole, and we’re looking forward to sharing information about this proposal with the public,” said Gauley District Ranger Richard Raione. “We know how special this area is to the public, particularly for recreation, and encourage participation in this process from everyone.”

View from the Highland Scenic Highway

The project aims to move the project area closer to the Forest Plan desired conditions by improving forest health and age class diversity, wildlife habitat, recreation sites, and stream and riparian corridors, potentially through the creation of early successional habitat, timber management, prescribed burning, recreation site improvements, and stream restoration.

During the virtual meeting, Forest staff will present background information about current forest conditions and potential management activities to address needs within the project area. Subject matter experts will be on hand to answer questions.

Information received from the public during the meeting will be used to help develop the project proposal. Submit written comments to comments-eastern-monongahela-gauley@usda.gov, anytime within the 30-day scoping period from April 29 to May 28, or mail comments to Gauley Ranger District, 932 North Fork Cherry Road, Richwood, West Virginia 26261.

Highland Scenic Highway

Instructions for joining the meeting and meeting handouts will be available for download on the project website by April 29. Details will also be posted on the Forest’s Facebook page.

For more information and to request reasonable accommodations for the virtual meeting, contact Sarah Dezelin at sarah.dezelin@usda.gov.

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