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2014 release likely for GW National Forest plan

Friday - 10/18/2013, 6:20am  ET

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) -- A management plan for the George Washington National Forest may not emerge until next year.

The U.S. Forest Service says it now expects the plan for the 1.1-million-acre forest to be completed in 2014. The forest is primarily located in Virginia but its western fringe extends into West Virginia.

Revised every 15 years, the plan has been highly anticipated since the summer because of how it will deal with fracking. That's a type of horizontal drilling for natural gas that uses chemicals and water to free gas from shale and rock.

A draft plan said fracking would be banned, but industry groups objected. Opponents of fracking say its industrial footprint is incompatible with the largest national forest on the East Coast.


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