Draft decision released on Rifle Creek grazing | PostIndependent.com

Draft decision released on Rifle Creek grazing

Staff Report

The White River National Forest has decided to authorize grazing for approximately 850 cattle on approximately 17,000 acres from June 16-Oct. 20 located on the Rifle Ranger District.

The decision comes after the Forest Service spent a month of combing through comments from the public, in order to see whether to continue livestock grazing on all, none or some portion of the Rifle Creek Grazing Allotment as grazing permits are reissued every 10 years.

The Forest Service released a final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact along with the decision, and it will utilize the adaptive management strategy for the project.

“Adaptive management allows the flexibility to better adapt with environmental conditions in support of the desired condition for the landscape,” said District Ranger Sarah Hankens. “The Selected Alternative also includes site specific actions that will benefit livestock and wildlife alike, such as additional water developments and enhancing beaver habitat.”

The Selected Alternative contains a monitoring plan that will determine if actions are being implemented as planned and if the desired results are being attained.

Based on monitoring findings, livestock grazing management may be adjusted within specified parameters described in the environmental analysis and the draft decision notice.

The release of the decision initiates a 45-day objections period. Individuals who submitted timely and specific written comments during the combined scoping and comment period are eligible to file an objection to the draft decision.

Documents are available for download on the White River National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=47452. Hard copies may be reviewed at the Rifle Ranger District.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed via mail, fax, email, hand-delivery, express delivery, or messenger service (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Objection Reviewing Officer c/o USDA Forest Service, Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, Attn. Objection Reviewing Officer-Planning Department, 740 Simms Street, Golden, Colorado, 80401-4720. Send faxes to 303-275-5134, or email to r02admin_review@fs.fed.us.