This would be a good meeting to attend… We have been discussing this for year and it will continue to go on but make sure you get your 2 cents in. Overall, I think it is a good idea that the FS has a plan or we are just going to loose more habitat and access.
Protect the Gila National Forest!
Your Presence Required!
Who: You, the Conservation-Minded Public!
What: Travel Management Planning Public Meeting
When: Monday, February 4, 5:30 pm
Where: Grant County Administration Building, 1400 Hwy 180 East, Silver City
Why: The Grant County Commissioners called for this meeting to get public input on the Forest Service’s Travel Management Plan. This is the ongoing process to determine which roads in the Gila National Forest will remain open to motorized vehicles, and which roads will be closed to protect our streams, watersheds, soils, native plants, wildlife habitat, and cultural resources.
You Can’t Always Get What You Want: Hardly anyone will get exactly what they want out of Travel Management. That’s the nature of public process and compromise.
Backstory: Our Grant County Commissioners are ATV enthusiasts, and some of them are opposed to closing any roads in the Gila National Forest, irrespective of whether the road is completely unnecessary or is causing unacceptable erosion or other resource damage.
The Forest Service plans to release its Travel Management Final Environmental Impact Statement in March or April 2013. If the final plan is similar to their preferred alternative proposed two years ago, the Gila National Forest will leave open 3,300 miles of roads, enough to drive from San Diego to Maine! Despite this ample recreational access, some misguided politicians and citizens continue to oppose protection of the Gila National Forest if it means closing some roads.
The Forest Service has hosted dozens of Travel Management public meetings and open houses in the last few years, and does not plan to hold any additional meetings when they release their final plan this spring. Grant County’s February 4 meeting may be our final opportunity to stand up in support of protection of the Gila. Grant County Commissioners need to hear from their conservationist constituency.
Motorized recreationists represent less than 10% of forest users, with the majority of people visiting the Gila for quiet recreation: hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, birding, plant and wildlife viewing, etc.
If you want more information, please email us to receive talking points. At the meeting, we’ll provide handouts. We need to speak our truth now, and not be drowned out by big motors backed by corporate interests.
Everyone has the right to use the forest; no one has the right to abuse it.