The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is fielding more public comments on plans for publicly owned land in the Camel’s Hump area.

During the initial public comment period, which ran from Oct. 25 to Jan. 15, the agency received more than 500 written comments, including several calling for more time to weigh in on the plan. The agency will accept additional comments through April 13.

“We’ve heard both enthusiastic support as well as serious concerns from the public,” Jason Nerenberg, district stewardship forester, said. “During this additional public comment period, we’re asking people to provide focused feedback by referencing specific parts of the plan.”

Management plans for Agency of Natural Resources lands cover steps to protect natural resources, provide recreational opportunities, produce sustainably harvested forest products, and conserve wildlife habitat.

The Camel’s Hump management unit covers 26,000 acres, including one of the largest areas of undeveloped forest in Vermont, home to a diverse range of wildlife and wild plants. It also hosts thousands of visitors a year.

The draft plan includes Camel’s Hump State Park, Camel’s Hump State Forest, Robbins Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and Huntington Gap Wildlife Management Area.

The plan calls for expansion of hiking, mountain biking and cross-country ski trail networks, and potentially localized backcountry ski glades, plus timber management and logging.

The agency is trying to balance the popularity of recreation in the Camel’s Hump area with protection for plants and wildlife, and pressures on roads, trails and parking lots.

The draft plan is available for review at Written comments will be accepted through April 13; email to anr.camelshump or mail to Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, 111 West St., Essex Junction, VT 05452-4695.

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