HALSEY — The path forward for the Nebraska National Forest is still wooly, but a pair of listening sessions Monday at the Halsey Community Center by Nebraska Forests and Grasslands assured the community of two things — that the road to restoring the 4,189 hand-planted acres might be long, but it would at the very least be free of eastern red cedar trees.

The tree is one of three primary species in the experimental, hand-planted forest, and has been widely blamed for its contribution to wildfire conditions; it grows and grows, encroaching upon both native and planted species, viable grazing lands, and roads, which according to one early responder to the Bovee Fire, are crucial to mitigating damage in times of crisis.

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