MONTE VISTA, Colo. – The U.S. Forest Service and National Forest Foundation will hold four public meetings in October to discuss and receive public input for the Rio Grande National Forest’s forest plan revision.
 
“Management of the Rio Grande National Forest directly or indirectly affects everyone living in the San Luis Valley,” said Acting Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Adam Mendonca. “I hope we have a good showing of SLV residents and visitors to help us develop this plan that will direct how we manage their public lands for the next 10-15 years.”
 
The forest plan is the overarching document that guides all management decisions and activities on the entire Rio Grande National Forest, including activities such as grazing, timber production, recreation, wildlife management, and firewood cutting.
 
The National Forest Foundation – the Forest Service’s congressionally chartered nonprofit partner – is organizing the public collaboration process for the revision of the forest plan. The first four meetings will be held in Antonito, South Fork, Saguache and Alamosa.
 
The meetings will provide an overview of the process for revising the forest plan and will include an interactive session to enable attendees to share what they value and how they use the forest. The NFF also wants to hear how to best communicate and meet with the public throughout the revision process. The forest plan revision is expected to take 3-4 years to complete.
 
Based on initial interviews with individuals in the SLV, these meetings will include two, back-to-back sessions. Meeting dates and locations have been confirmed for Antonito and South Fork and will be held:

Wednesday, October 1, at  Antonito High School, 620 Pine Street,  Antonito
Session 1 (5pm-7pm) – Please arrive at 5pm. Presentations begin at 5:15 p.m.
Session 2 (7pm-9pm) – Please arrive at 7pm. Presentation begin at 7:15 p.m.
 
Friday, October 3rd – South Fork Community Center, 0254 Hwy 149, South Fork.
Session 1 (5pm-7pm) – Please arrive at 5pm. Presentations begin at 5:15 p.m.
Session 2 (7pm-9pm) – Please arrive at 7pm. Presentations begin at 7:15 p.m.
 
Light refreshments will be provided and there will be an area for children ages 4 to 11 years-old to watch movies.
 
Information concerning public meetings in Saguache and Alamosa will be publicized once locations and dates are confirmed.  For more information, contact Mike Blakeman at the SLV Public Lands Center, 719-852-5941.