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Public comment sought on draft management plan for Chugach National Forest

Rafters on Portage Creek in the Chugach National Forest. (Bill Roth / ADN archive)

KENAI – The U.S. Forest Service is seeking feedback from the public on a draft revision to a management plan for Chugach National Forest.

The draft management plan and environmental impact statement were released last week for the forest, which covers the eastern half of the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta.

The Forest Service revises the plan every decade to take in new data from monitoring, research and the public. The agency has been re-evaluating the plan enacted in 2002 since 2012.

The drafts include a climate change assessment and consideration of the changes to the area's economy and to the forest's physical condition and recreational use, the Peninsula Clarion reported.

"The Chugach National Forest is the backyard to over half of Alaska's population, supporting businesses and rural communities with world-class tourism opportunities and destinations," said Terri Marceron, the forest's supervisor. "The draft Land Management Plan for the Chugach National Forest continues our commitment to connect and deliver forest resources and benefits to people."

The draft plan identifies four major goals, including integration of Alaska Native tribes and corporations, providing diverse recreation opportunities, identifying lands for inclusion into the wilderness preservation system, and providing ecosystem management direction.

The agency is considering making changes to some of the forest's management areas, including designating some as wilderness or primitive recreation.

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