The new Land Management Plan for the George Washington National Forest was originally expected to be released in June.
But, by the time the month rolled around, the plan’s release date had been pushed back to the end of summer.
Yet, with August half over, a new plan has yet to be produced.
“Our best estimate, at the moment, would be October, but that’s not real firm,” admits Ken Landgraf, a planning officer for the United States Forest Service.
The reason for the holdup — the GWNF is still debating whether to include a ban on horizontal drilling, a controversial technology often used on high volume fracking sites.
Landgraf says the issue attracted “a little” more scrutiny than expected, even receiving “a fair bit” of national attention.
According to Landgraf, those on both sides of the issue have presented strong arguments.
“It’s been a difficult decision to work through,” he remarked. “We need to go back and look at [both sides] very carefully.”
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.