BEDFORD – The Buffalo Springs Restoration Project, proposed for National Forest System lands primarily in Orange County, Indiana, is currently in the analysis stage.
The Forest Service has begun considering implementing actions within this area of the Hoosier National Forest that are aimed at improving and diversifying the forest’s conditions to benefit native tree species, other native plants, and the full array of wildlife species that depend on diverse habitats to thrive.
Once the analysis is complete, which is anticipated to be in April 2022, the draft environmental assessment will be shared with the public and there will be a 30-day public comment period for any interested individuals prior to making any decisions.
A new interactive online map is now available for the public to view the area and proposed treatments in more detail. In addition, a draft programmatic agreement on protecting heritage resources is now available for review and comment.
The Forest Service will have several opportunities for direct public engagement regarding the Buffalo Springs Restoration Project, including a Field Tour on April 22 and a Virtual Public Meeting on April 26.
The Field Tour will be at an area within the project area in Orange County. Tour participants will visit three sites where they will have the opportunity to hear brief presentations about the project from resource specialists, as well as be able to ask questions.
A limited number of participants can be accommodated to attend the Field Tour, therefore participants must register in advance for a specific tour time. Four tours are available (starting at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 1:30 p.m.) and each tour is limited to a maximum of 15 participants. For more details and to register visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/271228751497 .
The Virtual Public Meeting will be held on April 26, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm eastern daylight time on Microsoft Teams, which can be accessed with the Teams app or through a browser at this link: https://bit.ly/3vvC51N. The District Ranger will give a brief overview and current status of the project, and describe how the public may participate in the decision-making process. Several resource specialists will give brief presentations and the remainder of the time will be to address participants’ questions. To submit a question in advance email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this virtual public meeting is for informational purposes only. No official public comments will be taken during this event.
If you require reasonable accommodations to participate in either event, please contact us no later than two weeks prior to the event at 812-275-5987.
Participants are encouraged to review the information about the project prior to these events. Project information, the new online map, and heritage resources agreement can be found at: https://go.usa.gov/xAn24. Both public events will be recorded and posted within several days to this webpage for those who are unable to attend.