The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest in Western Colorado is updating their Forest Plan. As part of this process, they are required to evaluate rivers (and streams) on the forest to see if they are eligible to be protected as Wild and Scenic Rivers. Only Congress can designate Wild and Scenic Rivers. However, when a National Forest determines that a river is eligible, they protect the river’s outstanding qualities Rivers are the foundation of the healthy ecosystems and biodiversity that Rocky Mountain Wild protects. Designating a river as eligible is a great way to preserve biodiversity.
The GMUG planning team wants our comments on their Draft Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility Report. They have been very open to comments through the Plan Revision process. Your thoughtful comment can make a difference!
What should I say?
- Rocky Mountain Wild helped American Rivers to write comments on this report. Tell the Forest Service that you support the comments that will be submitted by American Rivers.
- Rivers are eligible if they are free-flowing and have “outstanding remarkable values.” Write about rivers with outstanding remarkable values you have visited on the GMUG National Forest.
- If you aren’t sure which rivers you have visited or which have outstanding remarkable values, look at this table below for ideas:
|If you live near or visit:||Tell the Forest Service:|
|West Elk Wilderness|
What else do I need to know?
- Submit comments by Friday, March 22, 2019 through the online comment tool
- See other people’s comment in the public reading room
- Learn about how to write comments that stick (pdf file)
- Use your own words. The Forest Service values individual comments over “form letters.”
- Learn more about the rivers in the table above in the Individual Comment Guide by American Rivers (word document)
- Learn more on the GMUG National Forest Planning website (including a story map created by the National Forest)
- Learn more on the Conservation Community GMUG planning website (includes an interactive web map Rocky Mountain Wild made that shows rivers not includes on the National Forest story map)
- Learn about the 50-year-old Wild and Scenic River Act