9-19-13 Groups post plan for national monument

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ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) — Groups hoping to create a national monument in the Monongahela National Forest have submitted a formal proposal to preserve about 123,000 acres.

The Birthplace of Rivers National Monument in and around the Cranberry Wilderness would include the headwaters of the Cranberry, Williams, Cherry, Greenbrier, Gauley and Elk River rivers.

The coalition behind it posted its proposal online Wednesday.

Angie Rosser of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition says it would protect natural resources while fostering economic development and maintaining access for fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities.

Existing roads would stay open, but no new ones would be created. Existing leases and rights-of-way would be honored.

The proposal also calls for a flexible approach to spruce and spruce-hardwood restoration.

The U.S. Forest Service would continue to manage the land.

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