US Forest Service cancels proposed commercial logging plan in Kentucky's Daniel Boone National Forest following negative feedback from public

LOS ANGELES , September 17, 2012 () – The U.S. Forest Service has canceled a proposed commercial logging plan for parts of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, following negative feedback from the public, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Sept. 17.

The Crooked Creek Vegetation Management project would have applied to the areas of Climax and Little Egypt. It called for a mixture of tree-thinning, commercial logging and herbicide use to kill invasive, non-native plants and improve forest health.

According to U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Jason Nedlo, some positive feedback was received during the public comment period, but the response was overwhelmingly negative. In light of these concerns, the agency felt it was best to cancel the plan and hold further discussions with the public, he added.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader's report, there was some agreement about the need to improve forest health, but some opponents to the measure, including forest education and advocacy group Kentucky Heartwood, argued that the amount of proposed logging was excessive.

Kentucky Heartwood Forest Ecologist Jim Scheff said the proposals called for cutting down almost every tree in some areas. There were also fears that Climax Spring, which is one of Kentucky’s largest continuously flowing underground springs, could be damaged by herbicides and logging.

Nedlo said the U.S. Forest Service would explore an idea supported by Scheff and others to add hiking and horse trails in the Little Egypt area. He added that the agency is still interested in conducting non-commercial tree thinning in the project area to improve the health of the forest, which would require a new environmental assessment.

The primary source of this article is The Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, on Sept. 17, 2012.

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