Rio Grande National Forest to host public meetings in advance of over-snow travel management planning process


U.S. Forest Service

The Rio Grande National Forest will be conducting four public meetings in advance of launching its forest-wide over-snow travel management planning project. 

Forest staff will present the first draft of the winter Recreation Opportunity Spectrum maps for the public to review. These maps depict both the current and suitable over-snow motorized travel uses on the land. 

The public is invited to provide their thoughts and recommendations on winter travel opportunities shown on the draft Recreation Opportunity Spectrum Maps, which will serve to establish a baseline for the upcoming planning process. 

Meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:

• Pagosa Springs: Nov. 8, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 344 U.S. 84.

• Saguache: Nov. 9, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Saguache County Road and Bridge Building, 305 3rd St.

• Del Norte: Nov. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (open house style), Rio Grande National Forest Headquarters, 1055 9th St.

• Antonito: Nov. 14, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Hall, 6633 CO Rd 113.

“This is a great opportunity to voice your opinion and get involved to help shape winter recreation experiences and settings on the forest,” said Kris Sexton, acting forest supervisor for the Rio Grande National Forest. “We look forward to seeing and hearing from our community members and all those interested in over-snow recreation.”

Sexton encouraged all interested parties to attend any one of the sessions, adding, “we’ve tried to schedule the meetings at convenient and flexible times and locations to encourage public attendance.” 

Sexton also would like to advise folks that it will be a long process, likely taking more than two years to complete.

The resulting Over-snow Travel Management Plan will set parameters that will guide over-snow travel on forest roads, trails and cross-country use for the next 15-20 years across the 1.8 million-acre Rio Grande National Forest.

While this first round of public involvement will help inform the forest of winter recreation needs and desires, an additional round of public meetings is planned for early 2024. The second round will serve to inform Forest Service staff as they develop the final project proposal that will begin the official planning process.

For information on the Rio Grande National Forest, call (719) 850-2374 or visit the forest website.