FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — More than 500 acres of public access have been added to the Rockcastle River Wildlife Management Area, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said.

The access in Pulaski County was added following an environmental remediation project that plugged 18 orphaned gas wells, the agency said last week in a statement.

Two portions of the property had been off-limits to public use since 2017 because of safety concerns associated with the wells. Staff from the Department of Fish and Wildlife worked with personnel from the state Energy and Environment Cabinet to plug them and now the entire 2,924-acre (1183 hectares) area is open.

“Completion of this orphaned gas well-plugging project on Rockcastle River WMA is a big win for hunters and other outdoor recreationists,” said Ben Robinson, Wildlife Division director for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.