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We need your voice for winter travel planning efforts on the Rio Grande National Forest

Help shape the future of winter recreation on the Rio Grande National Forest. Learn how to participate in the over-snow-vehicle planning process today!

Background:

  • The Rio Grande National Forest is developing a forest-wide winter travel management plan
  • The plan will designate trails and areas open to cross-country snowmobile use and create motor-use vehicle maps. Draft maps would designate 74% of the Rio Grande (1,382,276 acres) as open for snowmobile use, along with 260 miles of groomed snowmobile routes.
  • We need your comments! Let’s make backcountry user’s voices known. The comment window closes on June 14th.

What Makes a Good Comment?

The key here is QUALITY over quantity. One person’s well-written comment stands out more than many people’s short, unspecific comments. We are encouraging folks to take their time and submit thoughtful comments. Here are a few things to keep in mind writing your comment:

  • Personalize your comment!
  • Identify and explain the problem
  • Offer factual and unbiased information and make it place-based – for example, this interaction happened at this location
  • Provide personal experiences and observations
  • Highlight what is good with the plan
  • Short comments are not better comments. Details are good, and having a longer comment does not mean it won’t be read!

Talking Points:

  • Take a hard look at baseline conditions like recreational use patterns, parking, topography, snowpack, and wildlife habitat
  • Work closely with cooperating agencies like US Fish and Wildlife, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado Department of Transportation┬áto minimize impacts to public resources
  • Protect critical habitat for threatened Canada lynx, big game, and other species of conservation concern
  • Protect high-quality non-motorized areas for backcountry skiing and other forms of quiet recreation

Questions?

Contact Public Lands Program Manager John Rader at john@sanjuancitizens.org.