Rio Grande National Forest Plan Revision

Final Record of Decision Released on May 11, 2020

The final record of decision was signed on May 11, 2020. The notice of plan approval appeared in the federal register on May 12, 2020. All new management activities on the RGNF will be guided by the new plan beginning on June 12, 2020, 30 days after the publication in the federal register. An errata to the ROD was issued on May 18, 2020.

Final EIS to be Released on April 10, 2020

The Rio Grande National Forest is releasing their final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the revised land management plan, under the provisions of the 2012 planning rule. This Final EIS will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, April 10 for a 30-day review period. The Final EIS, both Volumes 1 and 2 and an errata sheet for Volumes 1 and 2 can be viewed at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46078.

The errata provide clarifications and correction to the EIS and response to comments.

Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas plans to sign the final record of decision and release the final plan following completion of the 30-day review period for the EIS. The final version of the Forest Plan will be responsive to all instructions issued by the Objection Reviewing Officer, Acting Regional Forester Jeff Vail.

Objection Response Letters Mailed on March 10, 2020

Objection Reviewing Officer Jeff Vail sent his response on 03/10/2020 to objections filed on the Draft Record of Decision (Draft ROD) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) stated for the Rio Grande National Forest Land Management Plan (Plan). The letter and enclosure contained instruction to Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas. Once the instructions are complete, the Record of Decision will be signed.

The Draft ROD, FEIS, and Plan were released on August 2, 2019 and initiated a 60-day objection filing period. A total of 14 eligible objections were received. After initial review of the objections, three meetings were held to discuss and clarify issues, agree on facts, and explore opportunities for resolution.
 
The response letter and attachments can be found in the project record at:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46078.

Objection Resolution Meetings Scheduled for January 14 - 16, 2020

As part of the Objection Process on the Rio Grande National Forest Land Management Plan, Objection Resolution meetings are being held on January 14, 15 and 16 at locations found below.

While the meetings are open to the public, the discussion is limited to objectors and interested parties that have been involved in the planning process and have requested to participate in these meetings.  

Follow to the DRAFT agendas for these meetings.

Agenda and Objectives for January 14-16, 2020

  • January 14 in Alamosa, CO (8:00-11:00 am)         Rio Grande Water Conservancy District Office
  • January 15 in Lakewood, CO (1:00-5:00 pm)        Rocky Mountain Regional Office
  • January 16 Conference Call (9:00-11:30 am)         Conference call only

Note: The conference call line will be open for ALL meetings. Dial 1-888-844-9904 and enter the passcode 1533543# when prompted.

Rio Grande publishes objections filed on revised forest plan

A legal notice published in the Valley Courier on October 11, 2019 provides access to all objections filed on the Rio Grande revised Land Management Plan. Legal Notice  Valley Courier Legal Notice

The Rio Grande released the final environmental impact statement, forest plan, and draft record of decision on August 2, 2019. In response, fourteen eligible objections have been recorded. All objections letters, including those not found eligible, are available at  https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/ReadingRoom?project=46078

Project record documents including the forest plan, final environmental impact statement, draft record of decision, the Regional Foresters species of conservation concern list, and the legal notice are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46078.

The October 11, 2019 legal notice also announces a 10-day timeframe in which interested parties must file a request to participate in the resolution process. As defined in Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 1909.12 Chapter 51.65, an Interested Person may include any party not named in the objection and who previously submitted substantive formal comments demonstrating their participation during the planning process.

Individuals or entities granted interested person status will be invited and may participate in resolution discussion the objectors and the Reviewing Officials(s) regarding the issues raises in the objections in which the interested person has expressed an interest.

How to apply for interested person status can be found in the legal notice posted in the Valley Courier on October 11, 2019 or by accessing the notice in the project record found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46078.

Recent Postings

                    Octiober 11, 2019
                               
Rio Grande publishes objections filed on revised forest plan​  Legal Notice Valley Courier Legal Notice

                    September 6, 2019
                               
Objection Process information

August 13, 2019
           Public Meetings - land management

                    

Public Participation

Public participation during the process is extremely important to ensure that the best forest plan will be developed for your national forest. There are several ways to participate in the planning process:

  •          Public meetings click here
  •          Email: Comments may be emailed to  rgnf_forest_plan@fs.fed.us
  •          Postal Service mail to:

Rio Grande National Forest
Forest Plan Revision
1803 US Hwy 160
Monte Vista, CO 81144

Forest Plan Revision Schedule

Process/Product

Activity

Proposed Completion

Date

Assessment

  • Evaluate existing and relevant data and information.
  • Assess sustainability of social, economic and ecological resources within the plan area and a broader landscape.
  • Begin collaboration and communication processes.

July 2016

Need to Change

  • Highlights those areas of the 1996 Plan to be updated in the revised Plan.

August 2016

Proposed Action

  • Utilizes information gathered from the assessment, review of key findings and identifies proposed actions to be used to develop the Forest Plan.

August 2016

Notice of Intent

  • Notification to revise the land management plan in the Federal Register which initiates a public comment on the Proposed Action.

August 2016

Draft Plan
 

  • Address potential desired conditions, management objectives, and other plan components based on identified need for change.
  • Develop alternatives for issues with differing options.

Summer 2017

Draft EIS
 

  • Develop a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that analyzes the effects upon the environment of each of the Plan alternatives.

Summer 2017

Final EIS and Draft Plan Decision

  • Obtain public feedback on proposed plan and draft EIS.
  • Prepare final EIS and draft plan decision.

 Spring/Fall, 2019

Objection Process

  • Prior to approving the preferred alternative, the public may raise issues related to the Plan revision and suggest ways to improve the plan decision.

Start date - August 2, 2019

End date - October 1, 2019 

Final Decision

  • Made by Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor
  • Errata to the ROD issued.

May 11, 2020

May 18, 2020

Implementation and Monitoring

  • Forest Service implements the Plan and begins on-going monitoring

Ongoing

 

 

 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogrande/landmanagement/projects/?cid=stelprd3819044