County seeks more time on clearing of forest

By The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON — Officials in a southern Indiana county want more time to comment on a U.S. Forest Service proposal to clear land within the Hoosier National Forest.

The Monroe County Council last week approved asking forestry officials for another 30-day public comment period when the current comment period ends Dec. 26.

The U.S. Forest Service’s proposal calls for removing trees on about 4,000 acres in Jackson County and a small portion of Lawrence County.

The Herald-Times reports that elected officials and Friends of Lake Monroe are concerned because the area that would be cleared is within the watershed of Lake Monroe. That reservoir is the primary drinking water source for Bloomington and other communities.

The Forest Service says its proposal would improve the forest’s health and wildlife habitat and boost oak-hickory ecosystems.

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