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By Ann Bond
Special to The SUN
Public forums will be held in the coming weeks regarding Required Registration for the Weminuche Wilderness.
In 2014, the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests will begin requiring recreationists to register prior to entering the Wilderness. There will be no fees associated with this program, and it will not impose any limits on use. At the forums, the Forest Service will explain the program and ask for suggestions on how to make it easy for the public to comply and the agency to implement. Forums will be held in local communities on the following schedule:
• Durango Recreation Center, Tuesday, April 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Silverton Town Hall, Thursday, April 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Lake City Coursey Annex, Wednesday, May 1, 4-6 p.m.
• Pagosa Springs, Ross Aragon Community Center, Thursday, May 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
• Vallecito Community Center, Tuesday, May 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests will accept public feedback until Aug. 31, 2013. The agency welcomes input on how best to implement specific aspects of the new program, such as:
• What should the registration form look like.
• Where/how should it be made available.
• Required season of use for registration.
• External partners/funding sources.
• How to display registration tags.
• Education techniques/methods.
• Compliance and enforcement strategies.
• How to handle commercial outfitters and guides, institutional and scientific research organizations.
• How to accommodate frequent users, such as those who make short day trips into the Weminuche on a regular basis.
Feedback can be offered at the public forums, through letters to the agency, or via an e-mail address offered online on the Weminuche Registration webpage posted at www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan under Quick Links.