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Santa Fe National Forest Releases Draft Forest Plan For Public Comment ... Meeting In Los Alamos Sept. 23

on August 11, 2019 - 7:11am
SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) has published its draft revised land management plan and draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) in the Federal Register, initiating the formal 90-day public comment period, which ends Nov. 7, 2019.
 
The revised land management plan will guide management of 1.6 million acres across six counties in northern New Mexico for the next 10 to 15 years. The plan reflects economic, social and ecological changes since the current plan was approved in 1987. It also reflects input from state, local and tribal governments, multiple partners and stakeholder groups, and the public.
 
The draft plan emphasizes multiple uses supported by healthy ecosystems and addresses the need for a working forest that supports local economies. The plan would create an estimated 225 jobs in recreation, timber and grazing, which translates to nearly $6 million in additional labor income for surrounding communities.
 
The SFNF worked closely with the neighboring Cibola and Carson National Forests to develop consistent plan components that recognize traditional uses and better serve tribes, community land grants, acequias and subsistence-based rural communities.
 
The draft plan uses the best-available science to support an “all lands” approach to working across administrative boundaries to accelerate landscape-scale management needs across multiple land ownerships. The draft plan focuses on forest, watershed and habitat restoration and reducing the risk of high-severity wildfire. The fire strategy recognizes the role of natural ignitions in fire-adapted forest ecosystems as a tool to reduce wildfire risk and improve landscape conditions. Public access to the forest will be improved under the draft plan while it also preserves wilderness characteristics, inventoried roadless areas, and wild and scenic rivers.
 
“The revised draft forest plan acknowledges that culture, history and attachment to place run deep in Northern New Mexico,” Forest Supervisor James Melonas said. “After more than 230 specific engagements with our public over the last four years, we now have the framework to work effectively with all our partners for the long-term benefit of the land we all love.”
 
The three Northern New Mexico forests will hold a joint public meeting 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, to share their draft forest plans and DEIS documents with the public. That meeting will be at the Santa Fe Community College, 6401 Richards Ave. in Santa Fe.
 
The SFNF will host an additional 11 public meetings across the forest to share the draft plan and DEIS and hear feedback from the public.
The meetings listed here are all scheduled for 6-8 p.m.:
  • Tuesday, Aug. 20 – Santa Fe, Santa Fe Community College, 6401 Richards Ave.;
  • Wednesday, Aug. 21 – Jemez Pueblo, Pueblo of Jemez Visitor Center (Walatowa Visitor Center), back building, 7413 N.M. 4;
  • Thursday, Aug. 22 – Buena Vista (near Mora), Buena Vista Fire Department, County Road C-011;
  • Monday, Aug. 26 – Pecos, Pecos High School Boardroom, N.M. 63;
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3 – Gallina, Gallina Elementary School, 1903 N.M. 96;
  • Wednesday, Sept. 4 – Rio Rancho, Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue, 5301 Santa Fe Hills Blvd.;
  • Thursday, Sept. 5 – Cuba, Sandoval County Fairgrounds, Community Building, 37 Rodeo Road;
  • Tuesday, Sept. 10 – Las Vegas, NM Highlands University, Student Union Building (Rm 321);
  • Wednesday, Sept. 11 – Santa Fe, Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters, 11 Forest Lane;
  • Monday, Sept. 23 – Los Alamos, Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave.; and
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25 – Abiquiu, Ghost Ranch (Lower Pavilion), 280 Private Dr.1708, US 84.
 
All three Northern New Mexico forests published their draft forest plans and DEIS documents in the Federal Register today, making their respective 90-day comment periods concurrent. Written and electronic comments on the SFNF draft plan and DEIS will be accepted from Aug. 10 through Nov. 7, 2019.
 
Project documents, including the draft plan and DEIS, and instructions on how to comment are available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/santafeforestplan. Hard copies of the draft land management plan are available for public viewing at the Santa Fe National Forest headquarters in Santa Fe, all district offices, and 26 community and pueblo libraries.

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