December 21, 2017
The public comments on the draft plan for the Rio Grande National Forest are due December 29. CWF's representative attended the 4 public meetings held by the US Forest Service this fall. We have been urging all who care about wildlife connectivity between this forest and the Carson and SantaFe National Forests in New Mexico to submit comments. Submit comments to rgnf_forest_plan.fs.fed.us
or mail to:
Rio Grande National Forest
Forest Plan Revision
1803 W. Highway 160
Monte Vista CO 81144
CWF will post our comments on this website. Essentially, we favor Alternative D and particularly have been making the following points:
Strongly urge that the Spruce Hole/Osler/Toltec Connectivity Special Interest Area be protected as a special use area in Alternative D of the draft plan. This area is critical to protect because big game in the area depend upon this area to migrate between southern Colorado and northern New Mexico.
In addition, our state mammal, the bighorn sheep needs attention. it must be added included as a science-based "species of conservation concern" as it is in a precarious situation.
Beyond the particular area, it is very important that fragmentation of wildlife habitat be avoided or at least very minimized. Colorado 's population is projected to increase from 5.5 million to 8.5 million by the year 2050. As even more people seek to enjoy the Rio Grande National Forest during the coming years, wildlife habitats must be protected now, for example, by removing obsolete fencing and decommissioning and obliterating roads that are no longer needed.
We support the Elk and Deer Wintering Range Management Area 5.41 because of its importance as an elk migration route between summer and winter ranges.
-- Re protecting our Rio Grand cutthroat trout: Both the Jim Creek Special Interest Area and the Carnero Creek Special Interest Area are important to the conservation of this fish.