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Public Comment Sought on American Chestnut Restoration Project


8/25/2020

American Chestnut Project researcher Linda McGuigan checks on American chestnut seedlings

After decades of innovative research, researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) are working with regulatory agencies to receive permission to distribute the blight-tolerant American chestnut trees developed at ESF to the public and use them in ecosystem restoration projects.

"We are at a critical juncture with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as they review our petition for determination of the non-regulated status of the blight-resistant Darling 58 American chestnut," said Dr. William Powell, director, American Chestnut Research & Restoration Project.

Powell and his team are asking for faculty and staff's help in the process. The USDA 60-day public comment period began on Aug. 19 and closes Oct. 19.

"This is your opportunity to submit a comment and let USDA regulators know what the restoration of the American chestnut means to you," said Powell.

Those interested in adding a comment of support are asked to visit the project's petition on the Federal Register and follow the instructions given on the webpage.

The American Chestnut Foundation has prepared a series of documents to help people navigate the comment process.

You can also view an award-winning short-form video about ESF's American chestnut restoration project.

"The best way you can help the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project at ESF is by voicing your support of the transgenic American chestnut as a forest restoration tool," said Powell, "and by sharing the links with friends and family to gain their support as well."