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The George Washington, Part Deux

When the 2005 George Washington National Forest plan revision was deemed illegal by the courts, the national forest service went back to the drawing table to create a comprehensive management plan that better suited the George Washington’s ecosystem. The forest service recently released their second version of the management plan, and it looks almost the same as the first illegal management plan. Challenges have already been brought against the new plan, but advocates are also seizing the revision process to push for more Wilderness designations.

The forest service has documented 37 areas totaling 372,631 acres of potential Wilderness within the George Washington National Forest. Conservation groups are in the process and recent public meetings have showed community support for Wilderness designations. It is now up to the forest service to recommend which of those 37 areas should be Wilderness. They will also revise management plans for the inventoried roadless areas that won’t be recommended for Wilderness designations.

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