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Forest Service seeks comments on Draft Analysis

The Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office is accepting public comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Turkey Springs Trail Management Plan.

The analysis area includes approximately 56,000 acres of National Forest System lands located east of Pagosa Springs from the Turkey Springs area to the Piedra River.

The purpose of this project is to address recreation opportunities and existing problems relating to the network of system and non-system trails in the Turkey Springs, Middle Mountain, Horse Mountain and Devil Mountain areas, including inadequate opportunities for some use types, fragmented trail systems, proliferation of user-created routes, and unwanted impacts to forest resources. The project seeks to establish a trail system that will enhance and improve recreation opportunities in a manner that is both socially and ecologically sustainable.

Several alternatives were developed based on input received during the scoping phase of this project, each of which is analyzed in detail in the EA. The alternatives encompass a wide range of possible actions, including taking no action at all, as well as the District’s Proposed Action.

An open house devoted to the Turkey Springs Trail Management Plan will be held on Thursday, July 28, at the Ross Aragon Community Center. Members of the public are invited to drop by anytime between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. to visit with Forest Service representatives, view maps, and obtain information on the project and planning process.

The EA is available for public review on the San Juan National Forest projects Web site at: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/sanjuan/projects. A hard copy of the EA is also available upon request by calling the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-1505.

Comments on the pre-decisional EA must be received or postmarked by Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. Comments can be emailed to: comments-rocky-mountain-san-juan-pagosa@fs.fed.us, or faxed to Attn: Paul Blackman, (970) 264-1538, or mailed to District Ranger, Pagosa Ranger District, P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

For additional information on any aspect of this project, contact Paul Blackman at 264-1505 or Sara Brinton at 264-1532.

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