Using science, public input to update GMUG Forest Plan

Mar 8, 2017
The GMUG encompasses the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, on the Western Slope, covering 3,161,900 acres of public land. Varying in elevation from 5,800 to over 14,000 feet, the GMUG contains some of the state's most spectacular scenery and diversity, ranging from semi-desert shrublands to high alpine ecosystems. The forests' intact ecosystems provide exceptional recreation opportunities and connect varied wildlife habitat across the greater Southern Rockies, an essential element for communities and wildlife dealing with the added pressures of growth and climate change.

The GMUG's 33-year old Forest Plan is one of the oldest in the country. It is outdated, increasingly irrelevant, and unable to manage the tremendous user-growth and environmental changes that the landscape has experienced over the past three decades. New Forest Service standards direct Forest Plans to be science-based and developed with extensive public involvement. The new plan, which will direct management for decades to come, is currently being updated and our conservation partners at High Country Conservation Advocates are leading efforts to ensure sustainability and landscape-level wildlands conservation is included in forest planning efforts. Some of their efforts focus on expanding opportunities for quiet recreation, securing protections for additional non-motorized and wilderness quality areas, and ensuring that the plan is based upon the best available science, and prioritizes landscape-level conservation.