Island Center Forest to close for hunting

Beginning this Saturday, Island Center Forest will close to everyone but hunters for 17 days.

After taking public feedback and completing an environmental impact investigation, county officials  approved a proposal for a shortened hunting season at the forest. The forest will be closed until Monday, Oct. 31.

Doug Williams, a spokesperson for the county’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, said that once the hunting season is complete, the county will take feedback on the pilot project.

To help assure that hunters don’t open fire near homes — a concern of many who live nearby — Williams said the county will provide maps that show forest boundaries and will install large signs that show home locations as well as signs near boundaries in the forest.

“It will help hunters to delineate the area where hunting is allowed,” he said.

In addition, he said, county employees will be stationed at the forest’s  entrances on the weekends to inform pedestrians of the closure, answer questions and gather information about how the public area is used.

Pedestrians will not be fined for entering the forest during the time.

“We can’t stop people from accessing it. We’re just asking them to cooperate,” Williams said.


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