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#06-70 March 20, 2006

March 28-30 meetings seek public input for Little Pee Dee River plan

The public is invited to participate in a series of meetings to share ideas about the future of the Little Pee Dee Scenic River in Dillon County and to provide input to a scenic river management plan. The community meetings are scheduled for March 28-30 in Dillon and will be hosted by the Little Pee Dee Scenic River Advisory Council and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
           
All citizens are invited to evening meetings at the Dillon County Courthouse, located on 301 W. Main St. in Dillon. Three general sessions will be held at the courthouse where the public is encouraged to share ideas and concerns about the river and ways the river can be better managed in the future.
           
For additional information about the Little Pee Dee Scenic River, the Advisory Council, and the community meetings of March 28-30, contact John Alford, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, PO Box 609, Dillon, SC 29536; telephone, (843) 774-9577; or send an e-mail to alfordj@dnr.sc.gov.
           
The meeting dates/times are as follows:

Other meetings will be held with selected groups of citizens, such as local government officials and business and community leaders, who will be invited to smaller, daytime gatherings on March 28 and 29.
           
The purpose of all these community meetings is to hear from the public about issues, concerns, ideas, and even dreams they think need to be considered in a management plan for the Little Pee Dee Scenic River.
           
The meetings are intended to encourage citizen input on a wide range of river-related topics such as recreational use and access, fish and wildlife, water quality, public safety, forestry and land management, property rights, river history, cultural features, and other river matters of public interest.
           
The Advisory Council and the DNR will produce a management plan for the Little Pee Dee Scenic River in Dillon County based on input received from area citizens. The March 28-30 meetings will help in defining priority needs, opportunities, and concerns to be addressed in the plan, which will be document to be drafted for public review. Once the plan is completed, it will be used by the Advisory Council to guide future actions to benefit the river in a manner that is consistent with community interests and values.
           
The Little Pee Dee Scenic River Advisory Council is a group of river landowners and river users established in September 2005 according to the S.C. Scenic Rivers Act to assist and advise the DNR in protection and management of the Scenic River. The Little Pee Dee River in Dillon County was designated as a State Scenic River in June 2005. This river section extends 48-miles through Dillon County from the Marlboro County line to the confluence with Buck Swamp at the Marion County line.

The mission of the Little Pee Dee Scenic River Advisory Council is to promote stewardship of the river for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Their focus is on conservation, utilization, awareness, protection and enhancement of the river’s resources.
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