We are lucky to be surrounded by one of the largest National Forest units in the continental United States. The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest contains some of the most spectacular scenery, critical habitats, and beautiful recreational areas in the country.
Every few decades, the US Forest Service must review and revise the management plans for each of its forests. The revised plan will be the blueprint for how our local forests are managed for the next 15 to 20 years. Started in June 2017, the preliminary draft Environmental Impact Statement/Forest Plan Revision will be released in Summer 2019. When this plan is released, it will likely be open for public comments.
For the past two years, WSCC, other conservation organizations, local stakeholders, and members of the public, have worked to identify places within the GMUG National Forest boundaries that deserve special protections. The result is the Community Conservation Proposal, a proposal that would recommend new Wilderness and Special Management Areas throughout the National Forest. The Community Proposal, if adopted, would create administrative protections for recommended Wilderness Areas, create additional outdoor recreation areas in Special Management Areas, and prevent additional and increased development on our public lands. For more info, and to show your support for this community-minded proposal, please go to https://www.gmugrevision.com/
The GMUG Working Draft was released on June 17th, 2019. The Working Draft is intended as an opportunity for citizens to preview the working draft of the forest’s land management plan, engage in the revision process, and provide feedback by July 29, 2019. Please note, this is not the formal draft plan and DEIS comment period, which will occur later in the process.
The US Forest Service has also included a series of public open houses will also be held in local communities from 5:00-7:00 p.m., please consider joining them at:
There are two webinars scheduled to provide context and go over questions:
Part 1, which will cover an overview of process, document structure, and key terms, as well as forest-wide direction is scheduled for:
Monday, June 24, 2019
as well as at
Part 2, which will cover an abridged overview, Management Area Direction and Storymap, and the monitoring program, is scheduled for:
Wednesday June 26
as well as at
Tune in at https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/
For audio, please call in to 1-888-844-9904, 8454465#
Comments for this process will be most helpful to the Forest Service if received by July 29, 2019. Please stay tuned for additional items to include in your comments!
Our public lands belong to us, the public, and we deserve to have a say in the process. The US Forest Service wants to hear about what parts of the GMUG National Forests are most special to you. Have a favorite spot you like to hike? A favorite spot you like to hunt? A special trail you like to ride? Let them know!
The most important thing is to be specific! Make a specific recommendation, suggestion, or call for correction
“I am a resident of…”
“I live adjacent to XXX ”
“My family has farmed/ranched in this area for XXX years…”
“I choose to live here because…”
“I hike/bike/hunt/recreate in XXX area and want the resources protected because…”
“I would like XXX places to be protected because…”
– Share personal experiences with public lands resources that may be affected, such as places you enjoy hiking or wildlife viewing.
– Bring in reputable sources such as scientific studies, recent articles and research papers.
– Provide supplementary material like maps, GPS locations and pictures.
– Ask to be informed of developments and information relating to an action, and ask for any information that might assist you in your involvement.
– Recognize and support good aspects of the USFS’s preliminary draft plan.
Let the Forest Service know clean water is important to you! The Community Conservation Proposal would ensure that protections are put in place in our watershed. From Special Management Area to recommended Wilderness, protections for headwaters will ensure our water is clean down stream. Take this opportunity to to weigh in on the unique qualities of our local creeks and rivers!
The Community Conservation Proposal would designate areas in the GMUG National Forest as Special Management Areas (SMA), which would keep mechanized routes open, but would also protect resources and wildlife from increasingly encroaching roads and developments. Tell the Forest Service you want your ride to stay wild!
The GMUG varies from 14,000-foot peaks to 5,800-foot canyon bottoms, and encompasses a diverse array of ecosystems and wildlife, from semi-desert shrub-lands to alpine meadows. In the face of climate change and increased human pressure, the GMUG National Forest provides a large, diverse, and healthy stronghold for wildlife, connecting ecologically varied habitats across the greater Southern Rockies. Make sure you’re voice is heard to protect these beautiful areas!