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Forest Service to offer information on project

ROCHESTER — The U.S. Forest Service is hosting an open house public meeting for anyone interested to learn about the Robinson Integrated Resource Project. Although the primary focus of the project is on the Green Mountain National Forest, just over half of the nearly 60,000-acre project area includes private and state lands in the towns of Rochester, Hancock, Stockbridge, Pittsfield and Chittenden.
The meeting is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, March 22, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Rochester Elementary School gymnasium. Named after the historical village of Robinson located in the center of the project area, the project only includes general ideas for management based on resource inventory collected over the past year.
The Forest Service is now interested in hearing public input to help them identify specific land management activities on National Forest lands such as timber harvesting, enhancement of wildlife habitat, soil and stream restoration, and improvements to roads and trails. These activities would be scheduled for completion over a five- to seven-year period. Forest Service staff is also interested in working with willing private landowners to consider possible management activities on their land that could complement National Forest land management objectives.
District Ranger Chris Mattrick will begin the meeting with a brief introduction about the project followed by an opportunity for the public to visit with Forest Service staff representing various resources. Maps and information will be available for review at resource tables set up in the gymnasium. “We are looking forward to working with members of the community to help us manage multiple resources on the National Forest in the best way possible” said Mattrick.
There will also be staff from other agencies and non-government organizations to provide information regarding opportunities to manage private and state lands within the project area. Representatives from the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, White River Partnership, National Wild Turkey Federation, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance (RASTA) are planning to attend.
If you have questions or would like more information about the Robinson Integrated Resource Project public open house, contact Jay Strand at 802-767-4261, ext. 522, or email at jstrand@fs.fed.us

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