Forest Plan Up for Review; Public Invited
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest and Saguache County are co-hosting a public open house in Saguache to talk about the Forest Plan Revision, a document that governs all management actions on the forest’s 2.9 million acres. The following video explains more:
The open house will be held this evening Thursday, Aug. 17 at the Road and Bridge Meeting room located at 305 3rd Street from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Forest Plan Revisions starts with an assessment of current conditions on the Forests. At the open house, the GMUG planning team will share initial assessment work and early ideas about need for change in the Forest Plan, while inviting the public to contribute their ideas.
According to Samantha Staley Forest Planner “We’ve started to build a comprehensive snapshot of what’s going on in the Forests today , but we hope the open house is an opportunity to widen the lens. What has the public noticed? What concerns do our stakeholders have about the state of the Forests? The assessment relies on existing information and the best available science and covers a broad array of resources and programs, including wildlife, livestock grazing, timber, mining, ecosystems and recreation.
A very important component of the plan is incorporating information from the public. The end result of the assessment is to identify changes that should be made in the new Forest Plan, including changes identified by the public.
In order to keep interested stakeholders informed, the GMUG is utilizing a variety of communication tools, including open houses, webinars, posting information and updates on the web site and through email.
The open house is designed to help citizens understand the assessment process and review preliminary assessment information with resource specialists. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for community members to contribute their suggestions or concerns which will be incorporated in the assessments. For information about how you can learn more and be involved, CONNECT HERE.
It will take them at least three years to revise the Forest Plan. The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 1976 requires that forest plans be periodically revised. Their current forest plan was developed in 1983 with five subsequent amendments. New guidance in the Forest Service’s 2012 Planning Rule directs forest plans to be science-based and developed with extensive public involvement