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Ohio requests public comment for Shawnee Wilderness Area management plan

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

-- The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry is seeking public input on a recently completed draft management plan for the Shawnee State Forest Wilderness Area. Comments will be accepted through Sept. 14.
 
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 creating 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 law creating the Shawnee State Forest Wilderness Area specified that every ten years the Wilderness Area's management plan should be updated. ODNR Division of Forestry staff members have reviewed the existing plan and have suggested several revisions designed to provide quality wilderness experiences over the next decade.
 
Some of the suggested changes include: restricting camping access during severe wildfire hazard conditions; requiring the use of a camping stove and prohibiting open fires; changing approval for wildfire and emergency response within the wilderness area from the Shawnee State Forest Manager to the Incident Commander dealing with the incident. The current plan and the proposed plan can be found at www.ohiodnr.com/forestry. Click on the link, "Shawnee State Forest Wilderness Area Management Plan being reviewed."
 
Comments regarding the proposed plan can be submitted by emailing comments to State Forest Program Administrator Nate Kirk, at  
Nate.Kirk@dnr.state.oh.us; by attending an open house at the Athens ODNR office on Aug. 19 from  4:30 to 7 p.m. or at the Shawnee State Forest office Aug.20 from 4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.  Citizens can also send comments by mail to Nate Kirk, State Forest Program Administrator, ODNR Division of Forestry, 2045 Morse Rd., Building H-1, Columbus, OH 43229-6693.

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