State seeks input on expanding equestrian access in Willoughby State Forest

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NEWPORT — The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) has announced a proposal to amend the Willoughby State Forest Long Range Management Plan to expand equestrian access.

Developed in partnership with the Vermont Horse Council, the amendment aims to open approximately 14.5 miles of roads and trails to horseback riders and create a new overnight parking area in the forest’s southern portion.

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A public meeting is scheduled for April 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sutton Village School in Sutton to gather stakeholder feedback. The department will also accept comments from April 30 through May 31, providing a crucial opportunity for public involvement in the decision-making process.

The proposed changes are detailed on the FPR website, including maps and descriptions of the new equestrian routes. Public participation is encouraged to ensure that the expansion considers sustainable land management practices while enhancing recreational opportunities.

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