EHD confirmed in dead deer around Lake Moomaw
Hot Springs, Va. –
EHD confirmed in dead whitetails. This is District Ranger Patrick Sheridan with the monthly report from the James River and Warm Springs Ranger Districts. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, EHD, was confirmed to be the cause of death of approximately 25 white tail deer along the shore of Lake Moomaw this summer. EHD is an infectious disease of white-tailed deer in the Southeast United States and in Virginia. Outbreaks occur almost every year, however it is rare west of the Blue Ridge. EHD is not spread by direct contact, but is transmitted by tiny biting flies. EHD typically occurs from mid-August through October, and this seasonality is related to the abundance of the biting flies. The onset of freezing weather stops the insects and brings a sudden end to outbreaks. Dead or dying deer found near water in late summer or early fall are a common characteristic of EHD outbreaks.
A final revision of the George Washington Forest Plan is set for January 2012. A draft revision of the George Washington Forest Plan was released in May 2011. The Forest Plan is revised every 12 to 15 years and provides overall direction and guidance to the management of the George Washington National Forest. Visit the website for documents and additional information.
The Secure Rural Schools Act was reauthorized for an additional year and the 2012 grants are in the approval process. The Secure Rural Schools Act returns National Forest revenues to counties for natural resource projects. The USDA has established Resource Advisory Committees to work with the George Washington-Jefferson National Forest and localities to manage projects and funding. The final decision on project funding will be made by the Forest Service by November 1, 2012. In 2011, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests awarded upwards of $120,000 each to Bath and Alleghany Counties.
The James River Ranger District is making Fore Mountain available to disabled hunters as determined by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fish. The Fore Mountain special hunting area will be for the regular deer season only. Qualified disabled hunters are encouraged to call or visit the James River Ranger District at 540-962-2214 for more information.
Special firewood cutting for personal use will be available to October 15 on National Forest land in the vicinity of Morris Hill, Coles Point, and Fortney Branch recreation areas. Firewood collection in these areas is typically prohibited. A valid firewood permit is needed. Once again, call the James River Ranger District for more information.
Approximately 60 miles of the 250 mile trail system on the James River and Warm Springs Ranger Districts has been cleared from the late June wind event. All 250 miles of trail are considered open to the public, but users are cautioned that the trails are not yet cleared and that hazards do remain. It will be likely that another year occurs before all 250 miles of trail have been cleared.