George Washington National Forest Plan Delayed

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The release of a plan to guide the management of the George Washington National Forest has been pushed back to late October or early November.

The plan for the 1.1-million-acre forest in Virginia, with a slice of it in West Virginia, was to be released this month or in early September.

The plan is much anticipated because of fears by environmental groups that it might allow a form of natural gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The U.S. Forest Service's Ken Landgraff says that issue and concerns about designated wilderness areas are among the issues still being worked on. About 3 percent of the forest is set aside as wilderness, which severely limits activity in those areas of the forest.

Landgraff said no decision has been made on fracking.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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