Forest Service Dispels Rumor That National Forest Land Is For Sale
Warm Springs, VA – Forest service land is not for sale. One of the recent rumors that I heard was that the forest service was planning to subdivide and sell surrounding National Forest lands on Lake Moomaw. This is a real rumor, meaning there is no factual basis to this at all.
First of all, the forest service can sell national forest lands but only if approved by Congress who have to literally pass legislation authorizing a specific sale of national forest land. This does not happen very often and it is not happening at Lake Moomaw. Two things possibly could have led to this rumor. One, there is a very large tract of private land west of Lake Moomaw that has been for sale for several years. That may have confused things. Two, the Warm Springs and James River Ranger Districts are evaluating contracting the recreation management of the Lake Moomaw area.
One of the main criteria to consider is whether or not recreation operations at Lake Moomaw can be accomplished at less cost by private companies and still provide the experience and services the public expects. If contracting does occur, the operation would be supervised by the forest service and managed to the standards and guidelines in the contract. This is one of the many evaluations we are making in order to match our organization and program of work with expected declines in funding in the years to come.
The Back Creek timber sale will be sold to the highest bidder in August of 2011. The decision notice for the Back Creek project was signed March 31, 2011. This project proposes to harvest timber on approximately 208 acres in 13 units using shelter wood prescription. In addition the project will thin approximately 42 acres, construct approximately 24 acres of wildlife openings, prescribe burn two areas totaling 1,258 acres and perform stream habitat improvement work in Ford Run, Pole Bar Run and Beaver Run. The Back Creek Mountain project is located five miles north of Warm Springs Virginia.