BENNINGTON (AP) -- The Green Mountain National Forest is expected to focus its next forest management project in southern Bennington County where it recently acquired some land as well as in neighboring parts of Massachusetts, officials said.

The U.S. Forest Service has not had an opportunity yet to analyze the properties, but staff members want to learn about the land in Woodford, Stamford, Readsboro, Pownal and parts of Bennington as well as the plants and wildlife there.

"It’s a big deal to us because it allows us not only to integrate with the towns in the southern part of the Green Mountain National Forest. It allows us to provide all those products to the American public that we manage these lands for whether it’s providing quality recreation or providing timber, providing opportunities for wildlife ... habitat," said District Ranger William Jackson told the Bennington Select Board recently.

Melissa Reichert, project team leader for the Green Mountain National Forest, says public meetings are expected to be held early in October in Pownal, Stamford and Readsboro.

The meetings will allow the public to offer suggestions or comments and concerns on actions proposed by forest staff members, the Rutland Herald reports (http://bit.ly/14dHOCO). Forest officials say a scoping report will be released to the public, after the input from the public meetings and other investigations, giving people a chance to make written comments and suggestions.

------

Information from: Rutland Herald, http://www.rutlandherald.com/