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ESF Chestnut Project Seeks Public Comment


The ESF chestnut project is making steady progress navigating through the federal regulatory system. The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has announced the next step in their regulatory review of the blight-tolerant Darling 58 American chestnut.

This notice describes their intent to write an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which will be a rigorous evaluation of potential impacts on people and the environment that could result from the distribution of Darling 58 American chestnuts. According to the Notice of Intent (NOI), the "preferred alternative" is deregulation (approval of our petition for nonregulated status), and the "no action alternative" is denial of the petition.

APHIS is interested in public feedback on potential impacts from either of these alternatives. "We expect that impacts will be overwhelmingly positive," said Dr. Bill Powell, director of the American Chestnut Research & Restoration Program.

USDA APHIS is currently accepting public comments and feedback on what should be included in the EIS, so if you would like to show your support and provide feedback on the environmental, economic, and/or cultural benefits, please submit a comment at Regulations.gov by Sept. 7, 2021. More information about the Darling 58 NOI and EIS is available here https://www.esf.edu/chestnut/noi.htm.