Forest Service still wants public input |

Forest Service still wants public input

Sharon FriedmanDirector of planning, Rocky Mountain regionU.S. Forest Service

As the director of planning for the national forests and grasslands of the Rocky Mountain Region, I am concerned about Bob Berwyn’s story from Monday’s (Jan. 22) Summit Daily News, “Public Cut from Forest Planning.” One statement in particular caught my attention in how Mr. Berwyn characterized forest planning “with no formal public involvement …”I am concerned that this statement will confuse the public, our partners and so many others who have been involved, or who want to get involved, with forest planning. For example, the Grand Mesa, Uncompaghre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) will release its draft forest plan within in the next several weeks under this new rule. Many have already dedicated countless hours to attend meetings and workshops and review documents to comment on this draft plan. There is yet another opportunity to provide input on this draft plan when the 90-day comment period begins once it is released.Forest and grassland management plans have not been, and will not be, developed without extensive public involvement. To those who have dedicated their time and energy to help us create these plans, I extend a deep appreciation. For those who have yet to get involved with future forest plans, I offer a sincere invitation to help us. We want to know what you think.

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