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The U.S. Forest Service has announced its final decision to implement the Somerset Integrated Resource Project in the Green Mountain National Forest.

The project comes out of the Manchester Ranger District and is primarily in the towns of Dover, Glastenbury, Searsburg, Somerset, Stratton, Wilmington and Woodford, but also includes small portions of Sunderland and Wardsboro within Bennington and Windham Counties.

District Ranger Martina Barnes selected Alternative C: Reduced Roads in her decision that approves a diverse range of management activities on National Forest System lands that will take place over the next 10 years. Implementation can begin immediately. The activities will achieve desired resource conditions across the forest landscape including improved wildlife and fish habitat, restored soils and wetlands, a sustained network of roads and trails, and increased recreation opportunities. The project also includes the harvesting of timber to provide wood products to the local and regional economy while enhancing forest health and diversity.

The Somerset project decision is the culmination of more than four years of inventory, public engagement, field work, consideration and analysis by a variety of Forest Service personnel, stakeholders and the public.

“The variety and breadth of management activities included in Alternative C reflect the diversity of the resources found within the project area,” Barnes said. “I am confident we have developed a good balance to use National Forest System lands while minimizing environmental resource impacts to acceptable levels. Our goal is to ensure our management activities result in public opportunities to enjoy the area in multiple ways and provide for a healthy, diverse and resilient forest landscape into the future.”

Information about the Somerset project, including the completed environmental assessment and decision documents may be found on the U.S. Forest Service website at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53706. The documents are also available for review at the Manchester Ranger Station located in Manchester Center.

For more information about the project the public may also contact Jay Strand at 802-767-4261, ext. 5522 or email at jay.strand@usda.gov.


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