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Media Contact: Starr Jamison, Natural Resources and Special Projects Director, 970-369-5441, firstname.lastname@example.org
(August 31, 2023) – San Miguel County, CO --- The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests has released the draft record of decision for the revised land management plan and final environmental impact statement. This will begin a 60-day objection filing period.
Starr Jamison, San Miguel County’s Natural Resources and Special Projects Director, said it’s important for users of public lands to weigh in on the revised plan.
“The revised plan is a foundational document that will guide future management decisions for the next decade or more,” Jamison said. “Those who have commented on the previous draft are eligible to do so again.”
In the works since 2018, the revised forest plan received significant public input, comments and observations that forest service officials then integrated into the version released this week.
“After we published the draft plan and received an enormous volume of quality public input, the planning team spent more than a year to thoroughly study and integrate that feedback as much as possible,” said GMUG Forest Planner Samantha. “We believe the plan and preferred alternative reflect the diversity of our communities’ input and interests.”
The revised the plan addresses drought, tree mortality and wildfire risk while amplifying forest restoration and resiliency through local and state partnerships. Forest service officials estimate the plan will support 3,900 jobs and provide $125 million in labor income, add 46,000 acres of recommended wilderness and increase fuel treatment objectives by 60 percent.
For draft record of decision, revised plan, environmental impact statement and other documents associated with this release, including interactive maps, webinar recordings and instructions for how to object or file as an interested person, as well as all past publications and other helpful resources, please visit the planning website.
The objection process not only provides an opportunity for those who have participated in a prior formal public comment period but also includes an interested persons format for those interested in how objections are resolved. Interested persons includes any party not named in the objection and individuals who submitted substantive formal comments demonstrating their participation in the planning process.
The GMUG is hosting three public meetings to share information and provide orientation about the plan and the next steps on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. via Zoom, and an in-person meeting Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. at Montrose County Events Center 1036 N. 7th Street in Montrose. Zoom information can be found here.