- Created: 31 October 2017 31 October 2017
ACTION ALERT: Contact your Representative and ask them to vote "Yes" on H.R. 2936
The National Wild Turkey Federation needs your help. This week, the House will be voting on H.R. 2936, commonly referred to as the Resilient Federal Forests Act. We are urging our members to contact their representatives in Washington and ask them to vote YES on this importance piece of legislation.
The purpose of H.R. 2936 is to provide disaster funding for fighting wildfires and to increase proactive forest management in order to prevent catastrophic wildfires, promote healthy and sustainable forests and create young forest habitat for wildlife.
The issues our forests face continue to grow as wildfires become more disastrous, insects and diseases continue to cause destruction, and resources are being spent on redundant processes and unnecessary litigation instead of active forest management.
To better understand the issue, read an editorial from NWTF CEO Becky Humphries in The Hill.
Reaching out to your representatives only takes a few moments. You can find a directory of Representatives here. https://www.house.gov/representatives/
Please call now to voice your support and ask for your Representative to vote "Yes!"
- Created: 25 October 2017 25 October 2017
MONTE VISTA, Colo., October 16, 2017 – There is a lot happening with forest management on the Rio Grande National Forest. One major analysis has been completed and the project decision approved, and several others are in varying stages of development and open to public input.
Sagauche District Ranger Tristram Post recently signed the final record of decision for the 145,000 acre La Garita Hills Restoration Project. This project will salvage dead and dying spruce trees on up to 31,000 acres for commercial sawtimber; thin trees and use prescribed burning on up to 54,000 acres in drier forest types; improve riparian areas along streams on up to 770 acres by removing conifers and planting willows; and reduce trees encroaching on upland meadows on up to 8,400 acres to maintain patchiness across the landscape.
The Conejos Peak Ranger District is inviting input on the draft environmental impact statement for the CP Salvage Project. The analysis for this project covers more than 330,000 acres. The proposed activities would salvage dead and dying spruce trees on up to 17,000 acres across the district for commercial sawtimber and thin trees to reduce fire risk on up to 1,000 acres. Activities would begin in the summer of 2018 and continue for 10 to 15 years.
The Conejos Peak Ranger District is also seeking input on the Fox Creek Vegetation Management Project. The proposed activities would reduce fire risk and improve wildlife habitat for bighorn sheep, deer, elk and northern goshawk through thinning trees on more than 335 acres and using prescribed fire on over 2,900 acres in the Fox Creek area located 13 miles west of Antonito.
The Divide Ranger District is inviting public input on two environmental assessments: the Groundhog Spruce Beetle Salvage Project and Del Norte Peak Spruce Beetle Salvage Project. The Groundhog Spruce Beetle Salvage Project proposes to salvage dead and dying spruce trees on approximately 1,950 acres in the Groundhog Park area 16 miles northwest of Del Norte. The Del Norte Peak Spruce Beetle Salvage Project proposes to harvest dead and dying spruce on approximately 4,100 acres in the Del Norte Peak area six miles southeast of South Fork.
Spruce beetles have infested more than 600,000 acres of spruce-fir forest on the Rio Grande National Forest. The Forest salvages dead and dying spruce trees for human benefit in areas designated for timber management as long as the trees are useable for commercial purposes. Surveys are conducted following harvesting activities to identify areas without adequate natural regeneration of young trees. These areas are then planted with seedlings grown in a nursery from seeds previously collected from local trees.
Additional information for all the projects above, including where, when and how to provide comments, may be found on the Rio Grande National Forest projects webpage at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/riogrande/landmanagement/projects.
- Created: 25 October 2017 25 October 2017
CREEDE, Colo. – Divide District Ranger Martha Williamson recently signed a decision notice approving a proposal submitted by Rio Grande Silver, Inc. to extend a corridor to further aid exploration for precious metals. The effects of the proposal was analyzed through an environmental analysis.
Rio Grande Silver is approved to extend their current corridor nine-tenths of a mile. The new corridor would be 100 feet wide on either side of Forest Service Road 505 north of Creede. There will be less than one acre of disturbance from the extension and less than 50 acres of total disturbance, including previously approved exploration. The maximum amount of unreclaimed disturbance at any one time for the entire exploration corridor will be no more than 27 acres.
Additional information for the Rio Grande Silver Corridor Extension project may be found on the Rio Grande National Forest projects webpage at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/riogrande/landmanagement/projects.
- Created: 28 September 2017 28 September 2017
Rio Grande National Forest announces availability of proposed forest plan
The public has 90-days to review and comment on the proposed forest plan.
The forest plan guides all management decisions and activities on the Rio Grande National Forest.
MONTE VISTA, Colo., September 28, 2017 – Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas today announced the availability of the draft Rio Grande National Forest revised land management plan (forest plan) and the accompanying draft environmental impact statement for a 90-day public review and comment period. The 90-day public review and comment period will begin on the day the Notice of Availability is published in the Federal Register.
The forest plan is an overarching document that guides all management decisions and activities on the Rio Grande National Forest, such as the preservation of cultural and historic resources, grazing, timber production, recreation, and wildlife management. The draft environmental impact statement analyzes the environmental, social and economic effects of the proposed forest plan.
“This proposed forest plan was developed by working together with local counties, neighboring forests, and state and federal agencies,” said Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas. “Over 100 meetings have been held to date and several more will be scheduled as we continue to involve the public in the management of their national forest.”
The Rio Grande National Forest is revising the 1996 forest plan because the forest and surrounding areas have witnessed significant economic, environmental and social changes since the current plan was published in 1996. In addition, the revised plan will align with new laws, executive direction, and agency policy, and incorporate public input, new science, knowledge and technology.
Resources not analyzed in the draft environmental impact statement includes oil and gas leasing availability, suitability of range lands for grazing, travel management, and minerals.
The draft document reflects the impact of timber harvest, livestock grazing, and recreation on local economies, the need to maintain these, and create more opportunities where available. Changes to fire management direction are also addressed to provide opportunities to use fire to benefit resources where feasible.
The Rio Grande National Forest will schedule public meetings in early November to share information and answer questions concerning the proposed forest plan and draft environmental impact statement. The dates and locations of these meetings will be publicized through local media and on the Rio Grande National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/riogrande. The draft documents are available for review and comment online.
For more information, visit the Rio Grande National Forest website at or contact Erin Minks, Forest Planner, at 719-852-6215.
- Created: 26 September 2017 26 September 2017
Forest Service office in Creede open one day a week
CREEDE, Colo., September 26, 2017 – The Rio Grande National Forest’s office in Creede will be open one day a week starting the first week of October. A Forest Service employee will be stationed at the office to provide a full range of visitor services, including firewood permits, on Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Divide Ranger District office in Del Norte will continue to be open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call the Divide Ranger District at 719-657-3321.