Forest Service starts using travel management plan
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The White River National Forest is taking the first steps to implement its new travel management plan. Decisions on travel management across the 2.3 million-acre forest were made following nearly eight years of public input and analysis.
On Aug. 9, the Rocky Mountain Regional Forester upheld the decisions made by White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams, following appeals by some groups and individuals.
“We are now in a position to proceed with the implementation of the travel management decision,” said Fitzwilliams. “Our first focus will be to help visitors learn where changes are taking place, inform people of the reasons for the changes, and provide guidance as to where they can find the experiences they desire.
“I also want to encourage the public to provide input and help in the implementation of the travel management plan,” he said.
Fitzwilliams said current travel designations will remain in place through the fall season. During this time, the Forest Service will focus on informing visitors of upcoming changes. Fall hunting patrols will be increased to inform hunters of future changes, and signs will be posted in the coming months on trails.
Winter travel decisions for the Blanco, Rifle, Aspen and Sopris ranger districts, along with the Flat Tops area of the Eagle-Holy Cross District, will be implemented starting this winter. While some changes are taking place within these areas, winter travel opportunities are largely unchanged.
The changes will take effect with the publication and posting of Winter Motorized Vehicle Use Maps for these areas.
Winter travel changes for the remainder of the forest are scheduled for implementation a year from now, starting November 2012.
The White River National Forest website has been updated to reflect changes imposed by the new decision. Visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.
The new Summer Motorized Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) are now available at Forest Service offices and are posted on the web so visitors can familiarize themselves with the changes. They go into effect in May 2012.
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The moratorium will prevent RMR Industrials from applying to update the special use permit for the limestone quarry north of Glenwood Springs.