The first phase of the revision process assesses the existing ecological, physical and social conditions of the forest and surrounding areas, and identifies parts in the current plan that need to change.
“Public participation in this first stage of the revision is critical,” said Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas. “We need to tap into local knowledge to help us fully assess the current conditions of the forest.”
The National Forest Foundation will assist the Rio Grande National Forest with scheduling and facilitating several public meetings over the next year. These meetings will focus on specific topics and/or geographic areas. All meetings will be announced in local media, on the forest plan revision website at http://riograndeplanning.mindmixer.com/ and by email. Those wishing to receive email updates should send in a request to email@example.com.
Four public meetings were held in September and October to provide an overview of the forest plan revision process and to gather input that will be used to guide public involvement. Input provided during these meetings has also been incorporated into the forest plan record.
There will be a variety of ways the public can be involved in the revision process, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Currently, people may join online discussions or take polls at the forest plan website mentioned above. A new poll has just been added designed to help determine interests in the 15 major assessment categories.
The public will also be able to participate by attending meetings or submitting their input in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next round of public meetings will be announced in early January. For more information, contact Mike Blakeman at 719-852-6212.