Jobs open for forest debris cleanup

It might be the end of next week before a schedule is set to begin clearing ice storm damage from parts of Daniel Boone National Forest, an official said Friday.

Dave Manner, who is in charge of the Cumberland Ranger District, said there has been no word on how people will be hired to do the work or how many will be needed.

Some work was done quickly by Forest Service workers on the roads and trails that are used most, but downed trees still block many areas.

Manner said the $500,000 project, which was announced March 5 as one of the first to use stimulus money on a national forest, is "progressing relatively well."

Trails and roads will be cleared in the Red River Gorge, which is part of the Cumberland District, and in the Redbird District.

Daniel Boone officials are working with a contractor who already was approved for work in the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in Western Kentucky.

That contractor will hire subcontractors in Eastern Kentucky, Manner said.

But how those subcontractors will hire people to do the work is not known, he said.

They might have people they have worked with before or might hire new people, he said. The Forest Service is advising people who want work to be registered with their local unemployment offices. Since the initial announcement was made, the agency has contacted those offices.

Land Between the Lakes received $2 million for work on public buildings and $475,000 to clear roads and access to agricultural fields.