The U.S. Forest Service is extending the comment period for the proposed Nantahala and Pisgah forest plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement by an additional 45 days.

The public review and comment period will now end on June 29.

“Since we released the plan in February, we’ve had to make some changes to the ways that we engage with the public,” said Allen Nicholas, forest supervisor for the National Forests in North Carolina. “Most of our March open houses were canceled, so we’ve created new opportunities to ensure that everyone can learn more about the plan and ask us questions.”

Beginning May 18 and continuing through the end of the comment period, the forest service website will feature a virtual open house. Similar to an open house meeting, information will be organized by topics such as recreation, wildlife, timber and wilderness.

In addition to the proposed plan and analysis, a full suite of supporting materials are already online, including a 2-minute introductory video, a visual Readers Guide, an overview presentation, detailed presentations, questions and answers on multiple topics, and interactive maps.

The planning team will answer public questions through conference calls. These do not require internet access to attend. To join, call 251-2949 or 215-861-0694 using access code 3889103# at the following times:

• May 28, 6:30-8 p.m.

• June 2, 7:30-9 a.m.

• June 4, 5:30-7 p.m.

• June 8, noon-1:30 p.m.

Questions may be submitted in advance by email to SM.FS.NFsNCQandAs@usda.gov. This email address is exclusively for submitting questions for the telephone question and answer sessions. Comments on the proposed plan must be submitted through the online commenting system or by mail. For more information, including how to submit a question or comment, visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/nfsnc/nprevision.