Durango Telegraph - The future of San Juan Public Lands
The future of San Juan Public Lands

The draft San Juan Public Land Management Plan goes well beyond the Hermosa Creek drainage. The management of the region’s 2.4 million acres of Bureau of Land Management and national forest lands is guided by a plan that has been in place since 1983, and there is widespread agreement that the plan is hopelessly outdated.

Since 1983, recreation and oil and gas development have boomed and fuels reduction has largely replaced traditional logging. “The revision is really looking for balance,” said Thurman Wilson, assistant manager of the San Juan Public Lands Center. “Probably the biggest thing that came out of the public involvement was a desire to preserve our large, undeveloped areas, while maintaining some of the traditional uses.”

The public can now decide whether the agency has accomplished this goal. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted through March 12 and can be submitted at http: //ocs.fortlewis. edu/forestPlan, where the entire plan is also available for review. Written comments can also be faxed to (916) 456-6724 or mailed to: San Juan Plan Revision, P.O. Box 162909, Sacramento, CA 95816-2909.

A series of public meetings will also be held throughout the region. The Durango meeting is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Durango Recreation Center. Meetings are also set for Cortez, Silverton, Pagosa Springs and Rico. For more information, visit http://ocs. fortlewis.edu/forestPlan.

– Will Sands

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