Green Mountain National Forest draws management plan

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(Host) A year-and-a-half ago, Congress designated another 40,000 acres of the Green Mountain National Forest as wilderness.

Now, officials with the U.S. Forest Service have to draw up management plans for the wilderness.

Chad van Ormer is the recreation planner for the Green Mountain National Forest and he’s in charge of the new plan.

(van Ormer) "We really try and take the imprint of man and lift it off of the landscape as much as possible in our wilderness areas.”

(Host) The new wilderness areas were created in an area east of Middlebury and another north of Bennington. Eleven miles of roads snake through the two areas.

National Forest Supervisor Meg Mitchell says her agency is debating whether those roads should be removed.

(Mitchell) "That road could be there and still be very visible for 50 or more years. So we’re balancing whether or not we should administratively go in and reshape with motorized equipment those roads, just for a brief period of time and then pull back and let nature take its course from there.”

(Host) The Forest Service already has made other changes in the newly designated wilderness areas.

It has placed signs that identify the areas as wilderness. And it has reduced signs along hiking trails because they detract from the wilderness experience.

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