On June 17, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) released the Working Draft of the Forest Plan for public comment. GMUG is specifically asking for feedback on what works and what needs improvement. This is an opportunity to shape their long-term sustainability plan by commenting to the agency!
Why Should You Comment?
The Working Draft shows the early direction the Forest Service plans to take. The comprehensive Draft Forest Plan will be released sometime this coming winter. The Forest Plan makes decisions for where new wilderness areas may be recommended, where commercial logging will be allowed, how much volume of trees can be cut, the intensity of recreation that can take place in the forest, how wildlife will be protected, and more. And that Plan will determine the management of the forest for 15 years or more! So it is critical that the Plan provide a best-known science, conservation-based foundation to make these decisions from. If you want GMUG to be ecologically sound for generations to come, please comment!
How to Comment
Comments can be submitted by email, by fax, by snail mail, or online and are due by July 29. Please feel free to use our draft talking points below.
By Email: email@example.com
By Fax: 970-874-6698
By Snail Mail: 2250 South Main St, Delta, CO 81416
Resources to Help
The public comments made so far in the public reading room.
Learn more on the Conservation Community GMUG planning website (including an interactive web map Rocky Mountain Wild made that shows rivers not included on the National Forest story map).
Draft Talking Points for Comments:
Below are some talking points you can use to submit your comments. Use some or all as you see fit, but be sure to put them in your own words. Copying and pasting these talking points could result in your comments not being read and counted as individual comments. For more information about submitting comments that stick, check out our checklist (en Español).
- Gunnison sage-grouse protections are voluntary and a little weak. They should be mandated standards, especially for protecting leks.
- Under a proposed standard, timber harvest would be allowed in high-quality lynx habitat. This must not be allowed.
- There are only 22,400 acres across the entire GMUG. Let the agency know that you support new Wilderness areas, including those in the Community Conservation Proposal and Gunnison Public Lands Initiative.
- The plan provides some weak, and in some cases non-existent, direction for protection of important resources. More standards, like mandatory limits on action, need to be in the plan.
- Guidelines for protecting big game on birthing grounds and winter range would be voluntary. They should be mandatory.
- The new plan increases the amount of timber that could be cut during the life of the new plan. It should not.
- The plan proposes to establish conservation watershed networks to protect watersheds and sensitive species like trout and boreal toad, but doesn’t provide details on how these networks would be applied and maintained.