At the request of the U.S. Forest Service, Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes provided comments on the scoping document under development for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG).
They stated their appreciation for the opportunity to provide comment and said they look forward to working with the GMUG through the entire Forest Plan revision process.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests' initial scoping period for forest plan revision has been extended by 30 days to June 2. The GMUG is currently requesting feedback on the scoping material, which includes three initial elements of the revised Forest Plan:
On March 14, regional forester Brian Ferebee honored employees and partners for their 2017 accomplishments during the annual regional forester's honor awards ceremony.
Award winners were recognized for innovative, highly impactful work that supports achievement of the Rocky Mountain Region's three priorities, which align with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service's mission, strategic plan, and priorities and USDA's seven strategic goals.
Anne Janik, public affairs specialist for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG), recently received the Rocky Mountain Region's Gifford Pinchot Excellence in Interpretation and Conservation Education Award.
Fire crews from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests conducted five prescribed burns during the months of October and November, successfully treating approximately 3,465 acres of the Uncompahgre National Forest.
During the week of Oct. 16 GMUG fire crews ignited the Rocky Pitch prescribed burn treating approximately 310 acres along the south rim of Unaweep Canyon.
On Dec. 11, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest Supervisor Scott Armentrout signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for Federal Coal Lease Modifications COC-1362 and COC-67232. The ROD outlines Armentrout's decision to consent to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) modifying two federal coal leases with terms and conditions to protect forest resources.
Christmas tree permits are available for purchase at Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) offices for personal use. The cost per permit is $8 and may be purchased with cash, check or credit card.
On Nov. 6, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests published a suite of draft assessments of its wide variety of resources and programs for a 30-day public comment period. A first step in the multi-year Forest Plan Revision process, the draft assessments attempt to snapshot current conditions on the forests and to identify if there is a need for change in management direction.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety has announced the availability of the Forest Service's draft record of decision and supplemental final Environmental Impact Statement for two federal coal lease modifications and an on-lease exploration plan for West Elk Coal Mine.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forest (GMUG) is seeking substantive comments from the public on its forest plan revision process.
Substantive comments provide factual information, professional opinion, or informed judgment that is relevant to the action being proposed.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest will begin a series of public open houses in Delta on the Forest Plan revision. At the open houses, the GMUG planning team will share initial assessment work and early ideas about needs for change in the Forest Plan, while inviting the public to contribute its ideas.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests' Grand Valley Ranger District will be undertaking summer road work on the Grand Mesa National Forest. The work will primarily be on Flowing Park Road (NFSR 109) and Highway 65 in the County Line and Skyway areas.
This summer, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is holding public open houses throughout the neighboring communities to invite input for the forest plan revision.
The open houses will be held in the evenings, starting with Delta on July 25, Gunnison on July 27, Ouray on August 1, Grand Junction on Aug. 3, Telluride on Aug. 10, Montrose on Aug. 14, Lake City on Aug. 15, and Saguache on Aug. 17.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests announce the arrival of CorDell Taylor to the GMUG supervisor's office as the forest fire management officer. Taylor will start work during the week of July 23. He replaces Clay Flower who accepted a position with the Job Corps in Washington D.C. in January.
The Delta County commissioners met on Monday with GMUG officials to discuss the forest management plan revision process that the Forest Service announced earlier this month.
Delta County's policy on public lands is one of strong support for the doctrine of multiple use, and commissioners took the opportunity to emphasize that point once again on Monday.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest Service has begun efforts to revise the Forest Plan.
The revision process begins with the assessment of current conditions and identifies if there is a need for change in management direction.
Because of the increasing popularity of the Gunnison National Forest, new rules have been put in place by the U.S. Forest Service to minimize the direct impacts on resources.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests announces the retirement of Lee Ann Loupe, forest public affairs officer, on June 1. Loupe has been the forests' representative for media, legislative affairs and various other roles over the past 11 years.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are preparing for spring prescribed burns. A total of nine areas are planned to be burned, pending appropriate weather, soil and vegetation conditions, and staffing. Burning may begin in early April and continue into June.
On Feb. 8, regional forester Brian Ferebee, U.S. Forest Service, honored employees and partners for their contributions and successes in 2016 during the annual regional forester's honor awards ceremony.
Spruce beetle was the most damaging forest insect pest in Colorado for the fifth consecutive year, based on a 2016 forest health aerial survey conducted by the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Rocky Mountain Region. Douglas-fir beetle populations also continued to expand, while mountain pine beetle, western spruce budworm and Douglas-fir tussock moth populations continue to decline.
The Bureau of Land Management and the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are seeking public comment on a natural gas development proposal that's about 12 miles north of Paonia.
The Public Lands Partnership (PLP) is accepting nominations of individuals who represent specific stakeholder interests to serve on a collaborative Adaptive Management Group (AMG). The primary purpose of the group will be to assist the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest in the implementation and monitoring of treatment projects designed to respond to the spruce beetle epidemic and decline of aspen stands occurring in specific priority areas on the GMUG.
Meeting with county commissioners on Monday for a "relatively informal presentation" and informational update, GMUG Forest supervisor Scott Armentrout said the agency will remain at its present headquarters location in Delta.
Also attending the meeting was Paonia District Ranger Levi Broyles.
The Forest Service has awarded a new lease for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests headquarters office in Delta. The awardee is the current owner of the Forest Service office located at 2250 Highway 50 in Delta.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest is pleased to continue the fourth grade free Christmas tree program again this holiday season. Fourth graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit through the Every Kid in a Park ("Every Kid") initiative.
The U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources are evaluating three alternatives for reinstating the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception as written in the 2012 Colorado Roadless Rule.
The Colorado Roadless Rule was finalized by the Forest Service in 2012 after seven years of collaboration with three governors and diverse stakeholders across Colorado.
Fire officials for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests plan to begin burning slash and other debris piles at various locations across the GMUG. Burning could begin as early as Nov. 1 and continue through March across the forest.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor wind, nor freezing temperatures kept North Fork area fourth-grade students from enjoying Friday's annual field trip to Lost Lake Campground.
"It's a good age to teach preparedness," said Dana Niksch, Program Support Specialist with the Paonia Ranger District of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests while standing under a canopy watching kids and adults dash through the falling snow from learning station to learning station.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are gearing up for fall prescribed burns. A total of nine areas are planned to burn.
The U.S. Forest Service and its partners are offering a chance for families to win a one-night stay in a cabin on the Grand Mesa National Forest during the summer of 2017. Drawings will also be held for a camping package (tent, sleeping bag and lantern) provided by Cabela's, and a Grand Mesa sweatshirt and two educational books provided by the Rocky Mountain Conservancy.
The Dark Canyon Trail is getting a makeover thanks to some U.S. Forest rangers, tons of volunteers and a pack string of tough old mules.
Rangers working out of the U.S. Forest Service office in Paonia coordinated Dark Canyon Trail Days, a multi-agency, multi-phase project to upgrade and repair a section of the popular trail about a quarter of a mile up from the trailhead at Erickson Springs Campground.
To improve access in an area where timber sales that will benefit forest health are to be conducted, the Board of County Commissioners Monday signed an agreement with the Forest Service for road work on Grand Mesa.
Under terms of the accord, Delta County will be compensated for up to $100,000 by the Forest Service for work its road crews do on almost seven miles of Trickle Park Road between mile posts 3.50 and 10.10.
The Grand Mesa Visitor Center on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is open for the summer season. Summer programs will be offered on various nature topics every Saturday at 2 p.m., starting June 18 through Sept. 10.
This Saturday's program will feature Mike Gauthier, talking about weather.
The Grand Valley Ranger District of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests has two fires burning on National Forest System lands. These fires were detected in the evening of June 14 and are the result of lightning.
The "Kelso" fire, is located on Kelso Mesa, approximately 40 miles south of Grand Junction. The fire is burning in a remote, fairly inaccessible location. Currently about 16 acres in size, the Kelso fire is burning in ponderosa pine, oak brush and manzanita brush.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests has issued a forest supervisor's order to restrict dispersed camping in the area known as the "Gothic Corridor" from June 15 to Aug. 15, annually.
The Colorado State Forest Service is now accepting Forest Legacy Program proposals from Colorado landowners. The program authorizes the CSFS or USDA Forest Service to purchase permanent conservation easements on private forestlands to prevent those lands from being converted to non-forest uses.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests were notified by Montrose County Road and Bridge staff of a mudslide that recently occurred on the Uncompahgre Plateau. 90 Road (National Forest System Road 540) is closed at its intersection with the Divide Road (NFSR 402). Approximately five miles of road is closed to full-sized vehicles, but open to all terrain vehicles that are 50 inches or less in width.
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) has contacted the offices of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Tom Tidwell and Office of Management and the Budget (OMB) director Shaun Donovan to schedule a meeting in the wake of the announcement that the Forest Service will delay the release of the Colorado Roadless Rule Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) until the fall.
On Friday, April 22, regional forester Dan Jirón and deputy regional foresters Maribeth Gustafson and Jacque Buchanan honored over 90 partners and employees for their contributions and successes during the annual regional forester's honor awards ceremony. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell joined the celebration by videoconference.
It was the home run on the County Line Nordic ski trail on the Grand Mesa as groups of sixth graders from all Delta County schools, as well as fourth graders from Lincoln Elementary, glided to the finish. Their faces were lit up with exuberant smiles reflecting a new confidence achieved from completing the loop on cross country skis.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced their intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to consider two coal lease modifications on lands adjacent to the West Elk Mine near Somerset.
Last week, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), and environmental document that outlines a multi-year project to treat insect and disease-affected spruce and aspen stands on 120,000 acres throughout the forests.
The U.S. Forest Service is expanding its search in Delta for a new headquarters.
Scott Armentrout, GMUG forest supervisor, in a report to the county commissioners on Monday, said the agency's search area for a new home now extends north from the Delta-Montrose Technical College to the Gunnison River. East and west boundaries are approximately one block on either side of Main Street.
Last week, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Rocky Mountain Region, released the 2015 forest health aerial survey results for Colorado.
Every year the USFS and CSFS work together to aerially monitor forest health conditions on millions of forested acres across the state.
The Forest Service and local county representatives are seeking people from communities throughout Colorado, elected officials and special interest group representatives as nominees for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) Resource Advisory Committee (RAC). Application forms must be received at the GMUG Forest's office ideally by Feb. 1.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is one of 186 federal sites selected to receive a field trip grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Fourth grade students will participate in the Forest Service Junior Snow Ranger program and experience the "thrill of the chill" on cross country skis and snow shoes exploring the forest in winter.
The avalanche season is underway across much of the U.S. with a series of sizable storms bringing heavy snowfall and strong winds to the western mountains, U.S. Forest Service officials said. The snow is falling on a weak, existing snowpack, creating dangerous conditions.
The Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service announced an 11-day comment period extension for the proposed reinstatement of the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception of the Colorado Roadless Rule.
The 45-day comment period, which began on Nov. 20, was scheduled to end on Jan. 4.
Progress to secure a new lease for the forest headquarters office for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is occurring. A pre-solicitation notice announcing a 10- to 15-year lease for approximately 13,000 to 15,000 square feet of office space, warehouse storage and parking has been posted on the Government "FedBizOpps.gov" website and legal notices were placed in area newspapers.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests is now selling Forest Service Christmas tree permits. A permit allows the public to cut a Christmas tree for personal use on national forest system lands as authorized on the permit.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are selling Forest Service Christmas tree permits at a cost of $8 per tree.
Permits come with information explaining regulations and helpful tips.
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests have contracted for work to occur on the Lands' End Road from the forest boundary for 9.3 miles, up to the boulder fields. The work will improve the sight distance and reduce brushy vegetation for 20 feet on each side.
The USDA Forest Service (USFS) and Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) - a service and outreach agency of Colorado State University - have finalized an expanded federal-state partnership that will indefinitely enable and increase management efforts on federal lands. The Master Good Neighbor Agreement fosters a collaborative approach and leverages state resources to accomplish work across land ownership boundaries onto National Forest System lands.
Our local public lands are one of the greatest resources we have here in Delta County. That's why the Western Slope Conservation Center is excited to announce it has been awarded a new three-year VISTA position to support a number of new collaborative environmental education and recreation projects in our area.
The annual vehicle and equipment auction for the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests will be held Nov 11-18. Vehicles that have been replaced and/or are surplus will be auctioned off through a bid system online.
"It couldn't have happened on a nicer day," said Paul Kimpling, the U.S. Forest Service Youth Conservation Corps leader with the Paonia Ranger District, while dozens of North Fork area fourth-grade students explored the Lost Lake area of Kebler Pass. The weather was perfect, and the trees were at their peak of color.
Thunder Mountain Wheelers has been awarded a grant for maintenance and construction of trails on U.S. Forest Service lands that are not only enjoyed by four-wheelers, but also hikers, bikers, equestrians, snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife continues its tradition of supporting trails with grants of $6.18 million slated for distribution in 2015 and 2016.
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