Ohio DNR seeks public input on revised 10-year management plan for 8,000-acre Shawnee State Forest wilderness area, changes include mechanized maintenance of trail systems

COLUMBUS, Ohio , May 14, 2013 (press release) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is seeking public input on the recently revised draft management plan for the Shawnee State Forest Wilderness Area. This draft updates the plan’s time period from 2013 through 2023.

“Recent changes to the wilderness area law require revisions be made to the management plan at Shawnee State Forest,” said Robert Boyles, state forester and chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “The most notable change to the updated plan assures that it is consistent with the Ohio Revised Code, which now allows mechanized maintenance of the trail systems already established in the wilderness area.”

The 8,000-acre Shawnee State Forest Wilderness Area, located in Adams and Scioto counties, was created by state law in 1988 with the intent of establishing an area in which past human influences go largely unnoticed, to allow for natural forest succession, and to provide an area with outstanding opportunities for solitude and recreational experiences.

The plan will be posted on the ODNR Division of Forestry’s website and will also be presented at the 2013 (Fiscal Year 2014) southern district open house. Public comments will be solicited throughout the review period and are accepted in writing, via email and through conversation with ODNR Division of Forestry staff.

Public participation is important to the ODNR Division of Forestry and to the people of Ohio as stakeholders. To ensure citizen participation, the review process in 2013 will begin with a minimum 60-day review and comment period of the draft 2013-2023 plan. Comments will be reviewed and incorporated as appropriate into an updated draft plan.

The public will be given another 60-day review period to provide comments about this draft. Comments will be incorporated as appropriate, and a final 2013-2023 plan will be adopted after the second 60-day comment period.

The current plan and the proposed plan with comment periods can be found at ohiodnr.gov/forestry. Click on the link "2013-2023 Shawnee State Forest Wilderness Area Management Plan Being Reviewed."

Comments regarding the proposed plan can be submitted by one of the following methods:
- Email comments to Nathan.Jester@dnr.state.oh.us;
- Attend the scheduled open house on July 31 at 5 p.m. at the ODNR Division of Forestry’s southern district office at 345 Allen Avenue, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601;
- Mail comments to the ODNR Division of Forestry at the same address listed above.

The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, forest health and tree care, visit ohiodnr.com/forestry.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

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