In Blanding, the Forest Service will hold an open house meeting on Thursday, Aug. 4 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Blanding City Library, 25 West 300 South. The following day, Friday, Aug. 5, the Forest Service will hold an open house in Monticello at the Canyon Country Discovery Center, 1117 N. Main St. from 5 to 7 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 6, a Forest Service open house will be held in Moab from 10 a.m. until noon at the Grand Center, 182 North 500 West.
Forest Service representatives will be available at the public events to answer questions about forest planning and gather information about how citizens use the forest and thoughts concerning the future of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, according to a news release.
The existing forest service management plan has not been revised since 1986, and Forest Service representatives have said the new plan will help determine how the forest will be managed for approximately the next 15 years.
The forest plan will review every aspect of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, looking at suitability for multiple uses such as vegetation management, grazing, recreation, and cultural and historic resources, according to documents from the Forest Service. The plan will cover the entire Manti-La Sal National Forest range, which includes the Sanpete District, the Ferron/Price Districts and the Moab/Monticello Districts. Revisions to the plan are estimated to take approximately four years to complete.
“[The existing Forest Plan is] very dated. It’s 30 years old, and it doesn’t quite meet the needs for our management of the forest today,” Forest Service planner Tami Conner told the Grand County Council on July 5. “There’s been a lot of things that have changed, such as having a lot more people out there recreating on the forest. We have different extractive uses like oil and gas and mining, and then we have lots of different access needs. We have OHV-type recreation that we didn’t have in the 1980s.”
Forest Service representatives said there will be multiple opportunities for the public to participate throughout the revision process — not just for government agencies, but also for individuals who wish to be involved.
In addition to public meetings, the Forest Service will reach out through Internet communication, and will make available through the website, fs.usda.gov/main/mantilasal/landmanagement/planning, information related to the Forest Plan revision process.
The public can request more information related to the Manti-La Sal National Forest Plan revision by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the local Forest Service office at 435-636-3505.