GMUG Forest Planning Comments Due December 8

GMUG Elk
A herd of bull elk (Cervus canadensis) moving through snow covered fields near Paonia. Photo Credit: Dennis Garrison.

GMUG is an acronym for the Grand-Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests. This is a sprawling set of three National Forests in southwest Colorado that are managed as a single unit.

These forest cover amazing diverse landscapes. The high mountains above Telluride that glow at sunset are in the Uncompahgre National Forest. The amazing wildflowers near Crested Butte are part of the Gunnison National Forest. The lakes and grasslands on the top of the Grand Mesa are in the Grand Mesa National Forest. For more information about these wonderful places, see the Forest Service GMUG Webpage.

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest launched revision of its 34-year old Forest Plan this summer, presenting a rare opportunity for the public to shape policy and actions on our local forests for decades to come. Last month, the GMUG released Draft Assessments for a number of forest-related topics, from aquatic ecosystems to wilderness. Rocky Mountain Wild along with a coalition of national, regional, and local groups, will be submitting comments on issues related to biodiversity. You are welcome to comment too.  Assessment is a critical part of the planning process because it determines the need to change the current Forest Plan.

Consider making the following points in your comments:

  • Encourage the Forest Service to create a plan that helps Gunnison sage-grouse to thrive.
  • Thank the Forest Service for including a detailed analysis of the impacts of climate change in their assessment of Terrestrial Ecosystems. Encourage them to address climate change in their new plan and to take it into account when addressing energy development.
  • Ask the Forest Service to create a plan that promotes biodiversity through protective area management and protective forest wide and geographic regionwide standards.
  • See additional talking points about recreation in the Colorado Mountain Club action alert.
  • See additional talking points of interest to people who live near or visit the forest in the High Country Conservation Advocates’ action alert.

To read the Draft Assessments, click here.

Your feedback matters! Please submit comments by Friday, December 8 to the GMUG by clicking this link. Tell the Forest Service that you care about protecting biodiversity in these spectacular places.

Rocky Mountain Wild plans to be involved in the planning process for the GMUG will continue over the next few years. We will let you know when there are opportunities for public involvement in the future.