ATHENS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry invites the public to attend any of four regional open houses to learn more about management plans for Ohio’s state forests. Held annually, this year’s open houses are scheduled for late July and early August.

“Our state forests offer many ecological and economic benefits to Ohio,” said Dan Balser, chief of the Division of Forestry. “The open house process allows us to strategically plan for the future, and we carefully consider comments from the many constituents and users of our diverse state forests.”

Division of Forestry forest managers and foresters develop annual work plans to guide management activities for each of Ohio’s 22 state forests covering more than 200,000 acres combined. These open houses provide an opportunity for the public to better understand and comment on Ohio’s plans for sustainable forestry, which include recreation, treating invasive species, prescribed burning and timber cruising and harvesting.

Hocking, Vinton and Athens County residents are welcome to attend, ask questions and submit written comments on state forest management plans at the Athens location:

Athens — (Sunfish Creek, Perry, Blue Rock, Hocking, Shade River, Tar Hollow, Gifford, Vinton Furnace and Zaleski state forests); Wednesday, July 31, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.; Athens District Office; 360 E. State St., Athens.

For more information, call 740-272-8519.

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