Peak & Prairie

Rocky Mountain Chapter's
Online Newsletter
June / July 1999

 

How Do You Want the Forest Managed?

by Jean Smith, Ecosystem Mapping Chair

If you’ve been following the complexities of forest management, you know that three of the seven National Forests in Colorado have finished their management plan revisions. Conservationists had varying degrees of influence on the Arapaho-Roosevelt, Routt and Rio Grande forest plans through Citizens’ Management Alternatives (CMA)—not enough influence probably, since all have appeals pending.

The White River and San Juan are well into their planning with CMAs as an integral part of the range of options. The White River is scheduled to release its draft plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) this June, but the San Juan draft EIS is not due until 2001. The San Juan Citizens Alliance has maps of their CMA on http://www.sanjuancitizens.org/wildsanjuans.html.

The Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison and the Pike and San Isabel will start their planning this fall, and local groups are gearing up to do CMAs for both of these forests.

On the Pike and San Isabel CMA, the Sierra Club is partnering with Upper Arkansas and South Platte Project. A preliminary draft of the 2.8 million acres of forest and grasslands will hopefully be available by the end of the year.

This is no small undertaking. A CMA Taskforce will take information from a series of regional workshops and four years of on-the-ground mapping, as well as the best computerized data, and fashion it into a conservation plan.

 

Local folks can have their say...

In these early stages there are two good ways for people to say how they want the Pike and San Isabel managed in the future: 

 In the Wet Mountains, mappers have a plan to recover the integrity of roadless areas that have been entered by motorized trails. This is a hard issue, because the current forest plan allocates a big chunk of the Wets to semi-primitive motorized recreation—motorcycles and ATVs on backcountry trails. The “now” and “future” maps shown give you an idea of the scope of their proposal (shown on page 1).

So, if you want to help decide the future management of Colorado’s forests so that intact ecosystems are protected, clean water and clean air is enhanced and recreation will sustain rather than degrade the land, you can join in.

What you can do:

June 1999 Online Newsletter - Peak & Prairie Home Page - Rocky Mountain Chapter Home Page