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Public Comments Needed by July 29 to Secure Better Protections for CO Rivers

Posted: 07/09/2019
by Kestrel Kunz

On June 17, the Forest Service released a Working Draft of the Revised Forest Plan for the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests. The Working Draft outlines broad management direction for the Forests and proposes new management areas including Wilderness to be Analyzed, high-use recreation areas, Roadless Areas, and more. The Wild and Scenic Rivers Eligibility process is not included in this Working Draft. Many of you commented on the Wild and Scenic Eligibility Evaluation Draft this winter (thank you!) and we can expect to see a revised Eligibility Evaluation when the official Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement is released later this year. 

We still need your help NOW to tell the Forest Service that we need better protections for rivers throughout the GMUG. Feedback on the Working Draft is due by July 29 and the Forest Service will use this feedback to inform the official Draft Plan. The most effective thing you can do as a paddler is to tell the Forest Service where you love to paddle on the Forest, what you value about the area (e.g., primitive surroundings, facilities, clean water, etc.), and what management improvements you want to see. You can submit comments here! Remember - the Forest Service loves photos.

Here are the river segments that AW has identified to have paddling opportunities within the GMUG Forest boundary. You can also check out Outdoor Alliance's GIS map to see where these rivers are throughout the Forests. Please share your experiences with the Forest Service on these special rivers! 

Gunnison National Forest: 

- Ruby Fork and Anthracite Creek

- Upper Taylor River (Taylor Park)

- Taylor River Canyon 

- NF Slate River

- Upper Slate River (Poverty Gulch to Oh-Be-Joyful)

- Middle Slate River (Oh-Be-Joyful to Forest Service boundary)

- Daisy Creek 

- Upper East River

- Oh-Be-Joyful Creek

Uncompahgre National Forest: 

- San Miguel (keystone Canyon and Sawpit)

- San Miguel (within Specie to Beaver Creek segment)

- San Miguel (within Norwood Canyon segment)

- Uncompahgre River (Gorge)

- Uncompahgre River (Ouray to FS Boundary)

Kestrel Kunz